The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) is working to increase energy savings and lower operating costs for federal real property. The DOE awarded 21 contracts to energy service companies to meet set energy efficiency goals.
Types of improvements vary from boiler plant upgrades, chiller plant improvements, changes in lighting and updates to the buildings’ electronic control system, among others. Alternative energy production will come in the form of solar power or wind farm installations.
Timothy Unruh, deputy assistant secretary of renewable power within the department’s energy efficiency office, told federalnewsradio.com: “The reality is there is a great need for improvements across the federal buildings. There’s $135 billion of needed building repairs, and about $7.7 billion in deferred building equipment maintenance, so there’s a lot to do and there’s really not the ability for Congress to appropriate all the money necessary. That’s where these public-private partnerships of an energy saving performance contract provide such a great benefit to the federal government.”
The result, Unruh said for example, can be something like the New Carrollton Federal Building in Silver Spring, Md., which achieved a 60% energy reduction and a 56% water reduction from the use of a ground source heat pump, which transfers heat to or from the ground.
Unruh said the energy savings performance contracts offer federal and local governments a way to improve their buildings while saving taxpayers money in the long run.