Meeting the Goal

November 30, 2004

The FY 2005 milestone year for the energy reduction goal of 30 percent for standard buildings is quickly approaching. Currently, the government's energy intensity is just under 25 percent of what it was in 1985. This means the government will need to save an additional 5 percent in Btu per square foot between now and FY 2005.

During the coming year, agencies should focus on high-impact, low-cost, quick-turnaround strategies to meet the goal. One such strategy is the purchase of renewable energy. The agencies that are currently making significant renewable energy purchases are the Air Force, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, and the Department of Energy. Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) can be a quick, low-cost way to meet the goal, and provide every site with access to the least expensive renewable generation nationwide. Purchasing RECs is now fairly easy for customers, as companies now have much experience in these types of transactions. FEMP can help evaluate agencies' options and strategies for purchasing RECs.

The Air Force, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, General Services Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency have all exceeded the renewable energy goals for their own agencies and are effectively pulling the rest of the government along to meet the goal government-wide (to read more about renewable power purchase activity, see Summer 2004 FEMP Focus). Total government renewable energy use has now reached 1,212 gigawatt-hours, with a goal of 1,334 gigawatthours by 2005. Several new projects are close to implementation including two Air Force projects—a pending large biomass project and a renewable energy project at Hill Air Force Base (Spring 2004 FEMP Focus).

Focusing on Operations and Maintenance (O&M) is another way to achieve the FY 2005 energy efficiency goal. Tremendous amounts of savings are attainable through improved O&M practices. Savings of 10 to 30 percent are typical and well documented. These practices should be part of facility standard operating procedures, not short-term, temporary efforts. O&M impact strategies for 2005 can include in-house recommissioning efforts and outreach programs. Awareness programs are valuable because they can provide a boost in conservation and can target end users and operators. Visit FEMP's You Have the Power Web site for awareness ideas and to download a copy of guidance for creating a successful campaign. The February 2004 handout from the new series from FEMP called O&M First features five of the most likely opportunities for improved O&M. Other resources include the FEMP O&M Web site. Links on the site include a continuous commissioning guidebook for federal energy managers and the FEMP O&M Best Practices Guide. The Portland Energy Conservation, Inc. (PECI) site features many resources on recommissioning and general O&M. FEMP's Resource Efficiency Manager (REM) approach is another effective way of instilling O&M best practices.

With the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, authority for federal agencies to use ESPC contracts to finance federal energy management projects has been extended from 2003 to September 30, 2006. Take this opportunity to move ahead on stalled projects to get them approved and underway. In the meantime, you will find energy saving ideas and tools in this issue of the FEMP Focus that your agency can implement quickly. The FEMP staff is interested in helping everyone with implementation and strategy to meet the 2005 and 2010 goals and beyond. Agencies should feel free to call with any questions or concerns.