Why Reducing Energy and Water Consumption in Public Correctional Facilities Is Important

Correctional facilities are multi-building campuses with year-round 24/7 operations, making the approximately 1,800 state and federal correctional facilities in the United States major consumers of energy and water, as well as a significant load on the infrastructure of the small and rural communities in which 70% of them are located. Buildings on corrections campuses are 42 years old on average and some date back to the 1800s and early 1900s. The energy costs per square foot of these aging facilities are some of the highest in community infrastructure.

Reducing the energy and water consumption and costs for correctional facilities can yield significant economic and developmental benefits for their communities. These facilities require a unique approach because they are campus-based with a wide variety of functions, including energy-intensive medical, manufacturing, and even wastewater treatment operations. The U.S. Department of Energy helps accelerate their movement toward this goal.

Partnering with State and Local Governments

The Better Buildings Sustainable Corrections Infrastructure Partnership Accelerator is working over three years with state and federal agencies to strive for portfolio-wide energy savings of 20% and collective cost savings of more than $250 million a year. Accelerator partners will demonstrate solutions leveraging energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, and storage technologies to reduce operating and maintenance costs in public correctional facilities while maintaining facility security and resilience, and developing the workforce and economies of surrounding communities.