FEMP Conducts First Resource Efficiency Manager Workshop

February 28, 2003

Various initiatives are underway within the Federal sector to reduce the size of the Federal workforce. Yet Federal facilities must be maintained at the necessary level to support ongoing or future mission activities and meet mandated energy reduction goals. For some agencies, the approach has been either privatization or outsourcing of energy and facility management functions to private organizations. A technique now being utilized by the Department of Defense, the U.S. Postal Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Energy to meet this need is the creation of a resource efficiency manager position (REM) for their site or group of sites.

An REM is similar to an energy manager or energy coordinator, with a few key differences. Typically, the REM is an additional staff member brought in to serve as a full-time resource manager and supplement current facility staff. The REM is able to devote much more time to developing and implementing a first-rate energy efficiency program. The other key difference is that the REM's salary is typically paid from the savings achieved. The U.S. Army's Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington, was the first REM site and its program has been operating for several years. The concept has grown within the Federal sector and now there are almost 25 REMs in place at Federal sites.

During FY 2002, various organizations with experience in creating and maintaining REM programs (including DOE's Seattle Regional Office, Washington State University's Energy Program, DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command—Southwest Division, and Tetra Tech, Inc.) worked together to develop the first REM workshop held in San Diego, California, on October 29 and 30, 2002. The goal of the workshop was to provide training on the REM concept and activities so agencies could evaluate the concept for implementation at their sites. The workshop also brought together most of the current REMs for further training and networking.

A total of 50 participants representing the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, investor-owned utilities, gas companies, universities, and private industry attended the workshop which was held in the offices of San Diego Gas & Electric. The workshop consisted of 13 training modules and four case studies of on-going REM programs. The training modules included background on the REM approach and the following subjects:

  • defining the role of the REM;
  • using energy information systems;
  • identifying and developing projects;
  • developing training and awareness programs for on-site staff;
  • accessing resources available from FEMP;
  • accessing incentive programs, and customer service and sustainability resources;
  • financing energy projects;
  • an update on currently available technologies and information on emerging technologies; and
  • how to contract for a REM.

The case studies addressed on-going REM programs for both single and multiple sites.

Input and evaluation from the October workshop attendees is being used to modify current presentation material for a second REM workshop to be conducted in the Southeast during spring 2003. Information on upcoming workshops will be available on the calendar of events page of FEMP's Web site or can be obtained from DOE's Atlanta Regional Office.

Learn more about the REM program. For more information on FEMP's REM workshop, please contact Cheri Sayer of DOE's Seattle Regional Office at 206-553-7838 or Ab Ream of FEMP at 202-586-7230.