DOE to Save $13 Million in Annual Energy Costs at Four National Labs

August 4, 2008

DOE announced on August 4 that it has signed contracts for $140 million in energy efficiency improvements at four of its national laboratories: Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The energy efficiency improvements will help DOE to save about $13 million on energy and energy-related costs per year. The contracts are the first ones signed under DOE's Transformational Energy Action Management (TEAM) initiative, which aims to have 7.5% of the energy used at all DOE facilities supplied by renewable sources by 2010. The TEAM initiative also seeks to reduce energy intensity by 30% and reduce water consumption intensity by 16% in all DOE facilities by 2015.

At Idaho National Laboratory (INL), oil-fired boilers and old steam lines will be removed and replaced with electric technologies, eliminating 600,000 gallons per year of fuel oil purchases to yield an annual savings of $1.7 million. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will receive an upgraded energy management control system, which will result in $1.3 million in savings per year. The National Energy Technology Laboratory will receive a variety of green upgrades, including biogas boilers, green roofs, hybrid lighting, advanced metering, solar lighting, rooftop wind turbines, and natural gas well dewatering, which will reduce energy consumption by more than 27 billion Btu per year and reduce water use by more than three million gallons, resulting in approximately $800,000 in savings per year. And on top of implementing other general energy conservation measures, a biomass steam plant will be built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, allowing for nearly $8.7 million in savings per year. See the INL press release.

The energy efficiency improvements will be installed under Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs), under which energy service companies or utilities provide the funding required to purchase equipment and system enhancements for an organization, and are paid back from the energy savings that result from increased energy efficiency. Over one billion pounds of carbon dioxide can be avoided by the potential ESPC projects currently in development at DOE. This is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from more than 83,000 vehicles. See the DOE press release, the TEAM Initiative Web site, and the Federal Times.com article, Energy Dept. Awards $140M in Energy-Saving Contracts.