Energy Reduction at HQ

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Office of Administration Environmental Management System (EMS) Policy for Managing Department of Energy HQ Facilities

This policy statement sets forth the commitments and basic structure of the Department of Energy (DOE) Headquarters Facility Environmental Management System (EMS).  The scope of this EMS includes facility operations and support activities for the DOE Forrestal facility in Washington, DC and the Germantown facility in Germantown, Maryland.

The DOE Headquarters Facilities are committed to:

  • Minimizing and preventing pollution from entering the environment.
  • Achieving and maintaining compliance with all applicable environmental laws, regulations, and administrative policies.
  • Continually improving the EMS by conducting annual system reviews and implementing modifications based on those reviews.

Use this link to view or download the policy document (June 30, 2015).

The Department of Energy (DOE) is setting an example for the entire Federal Government with aggressive but achievable goals for energy reduction at all DOE facilities, including its headquarters facilities in the Forrestal Building in downtown Washington, DC, and Germantown, MD.

Tips for Saving Energy

Employees at the Department's Headquarters facilities are advised to be aware of several actions that can add up to significant energy and monetary savings and help the Department showcase what can be accomplished.

How to Set-Up Your Desk for Optimal Energy Conservation

Desktop Computers

  • Plug your desktop computer CPU directly into a wall outlet and turn your computer off when you leave each night.
  • If your desktop computer’s power cord cannot reach the wall outlet, use a separate, dedicated power strip to help reach.  In this case, turn your computer off each night but keep its power strip on.
  • As long as power is available to your desktop computer, the OCIO can access it remotely to provide necessary updates after hours in order to prevent any disruption to you during working hours.

All Other Office Electronics
(Monitor, Printer, Scanner, Laptop Computers, Task Lights, etc).

Even when turned off, many electronics will continue to draw small amounts of power if they are still plugged in.  To eliminate these “vampire” loads: 

  • Plug all of these other office electronics into a single power strip.
  • Turn off this power strip when leaving each night.  This will completely cut power to these devices and kill any “vampire” loads.
  • Note that the OCIO does not currently update laptop computers remotely.  Therefore, until notified otherwise, laptops do not need to have power available at night.

Obtaining Power Strips

Power strips are available in the DOE self-help Office Supply Stores at the following Locations:

  • Forrestal:  Room GA-171
  • Germantown:  Room R-008

Safe Use of Power Strips

A power strip is simply a variation of an extension cord, where the cord terminates in a row or grouping of receptacles.  Power strips provide multiple receptacles for office equipment such as computers (CPU’s and peripherals).  Plugging office electronics into a single power strip and turning off this power strip when leaving each night potentially eliminates “phantom” or “vampire” electric loads and saves energy.

To ensure safe operations, all power strips should:

  • Be certified by a nationally recognized laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), Factory Mutual (FM), or by other Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL).  Look for an approval tag or label.
  • Have an internal circuit breaker or fuse. These units will trip the breaker if the power strip is over loaded or shorted to prevent overheating and fire.
  • Be plugged in directly to a wall electrical outlet.  Never string together two or more power strips, often called "daisy-chaining" or "pig-tailing".
  • Be located in an area with easy access.  Do not use in a moist environment or a location where it will be covered with carpet, furniture or any other item that will limit or prevent air circulation.
  • Not be used for for heat-producing or high amperage equipment such as refrigerators, microwaves, coffeemakers, heaters, etc.
  • As a safety precaution, all employees should periodically inspect any surge protector that they are using. If the surge protector shows signs of overheating, such as discoloration or distortion; or if the green “protection” LED is not lit, the surge protector should be removed from service and replaced.

If you questions regarding the safe use of power strips, you may contact the Office of Headquarters Safety, Health and Security, MA-41 at 202-586-1005.

Make It a Habit to Turn Off Office Lights

  • When leaving your office for the evening, make it a habit to turn off your lights.
  • If you share lights with a co-worker, make a point of knowing if you are the last one to leave so you can switch off the lights.

The 1-2 Rule: Walk Up One Flight and Down Two

Health Benefits

  • A 150 lb person burns about 10 calories/min when walking up stairs and about 7 calories/min when walking down.

Use the 1-2 Rule

  • Walk up one flight and down two!
  • Don't waste time and energy!

MAAdm Last updated 01/14/2020 New Format