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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that more than 30 individuals, teams and organizations across the Federal Government were selected to receive Federal Energy and Water Management Awards for outstanding and innovative efforts to implement sustainable strategies that improve energy, water, and vehicle fleet efficiency. These awards demonstrate the commitment by Federal agencies to invest in efficiency measures that save money for taxpayers, reduce carbon pollution, and create a stronger economy for the American people. The 31 initiatives receiving awards today saved taxpayers almost $42 million in energy and water costs in fiscal year 2009 and kept the equivalent of about 190,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. These efforts are also helping to move cutting-edge clean energy technologies into the marketplace, create new American jobs, and strengthen our national security.
"As the single largest consumer of energy in the country, the Federal Government has a responsibility and an opportunity to lead by example in implementing clean energy projects that save taxpayers money, create new jobs, and reduce carbon pollution," said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. "Today's award winners show what is possible when it comes to implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the Federal Government and beyond."
The 2010 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards winners were selected from nominations submitted by 17 Federal agencies. Included among the award winners are employees from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy; the Departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency; General Services Administration; and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Last year, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance, which called on the Federal Government to dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and implement aggressive energy and water efficiency programs. As part of their commitment to meet the President's goals to "green the government," agencies are undertaking projects to increase their use of renewable energy, make their buildings and vehicles more efficient, and limit their use of fossil fuels.
The Federal Government has already achieved substantive results towards cleaner energy and improved energy efficiency. Data for fiscal year 2009 shows that the Federal Government has decreased energy consumption per square foot of building space by approximately 13.1 percent compared with fiscal year 2003, surpassing the goal of 12 percent for the year. The Federal government also reported purchasing or producing 2,331 Gigawatt-hours of electricity from renewable sources, equivalent to 4.2 percent of their electricity use, surpassing the goal of 3 percent for fiscal year 2009.
The combined accomplishments of this year's winners include:
- Saving 38 billion Btu through the installation of renewable energy systems, including solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, and methane gas generated by landfills.
- Implementing facility-wide comprehensive changes to operations and maintenance practices, saving 1.7 trillion Btu by upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment, and by installing high efficiency lighting and energy management control systems.
- Installing significant water efficiency improvements, saving 3.2 billion gallons of water through high efficiency plumbing fixtures, upgrades to irrigation systems, use of native landscaping, discovery and repair of major leaks, and reuse of reclaimed and recovered ground water.
- Building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) facilities with state-of-the-art technologies and environmentally friendly workspaces.
- Implementing energy savings performance contracts, in which a federal agency partners with an energy service company, who designs and constructs a project, arranges the necessary financing, and guarantees that the improvements will generate energy cost savings sufficient to pay for the project over the term of the contract.
- Implementing utility energy services contracts, where a utility arranges financing to cover the capital costs of the project, which are repaid over the contract term from cost savings generated by the energy efficiency measures.
This awards program is one of several held each year in October in conjunction with Energy Awareness Month to highlight the critical importance of energy efficiency and renewable resources and Federal efforts to lead by example in energy management. To see the complete list of this year's winners visit the 2010 Federal Energy and Water Management Award Winners Web page.