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Audit Report: IG-0835

July 1, 2010

The Department of Energy's Opportunity for Energy Savings Through Improved Management of Facility Lighting

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) highlighted the importance of reducing the Nation's dependence on foreign oil and conserving scarce energy resources. The Department of Energy, as the designated lead agency for promoting new technologies, providing leadership for energy conservation and helping Federal agencies reduce energy costs, plays a pivotal role in achieving the Recovery Act's energy related goals. The Department spends nearly $300 million per year in energy costs for its 9,000 buildings at 24 sites. Electricity costs, totaling $190 million, account for close to two-thirds of the Department's total energy expenditures, with roughly 40 percent or $76 million of those costs attributable to the cost of lighting. New lighting technologies and advanced lighting systems offer the Department the opportunity to significantly reduce energy consumption; decrease operating costs at its sites throughout the country; and, demonstrate the benefits of using new lighting technologies that are currently being developed in its laboratories and by other sources. Because of its energy conservation leadership role, we initiated this audit to determine whether the Department's facilities had implemented lighting conservation measures.

Topic: Energy