Federal buildings are struggling to keep pace with their energy reduction goals, according to an article in E&E.
In March President Obama signed an Executive Order calling for federal agencies to reduce energy use in federal buildings by 2.5 percent per year, from a 2015 baseline, through 2025.
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Director Tim Unruh spoke at an Association of Climate Change Officers roundtable and said, “We were doing pretty decent, and then it kind of hit a wall, and we aren’t entirely sure why,” according to E&E.
Energy use in federal buildings had been trending downward since 2003, but in the last few years the trend has flattened out. Unruh cited some possible reasons for the stalling out. He said weather has played a role, and military service members returning home has also boosted energy use in federal buildings. He also said the proliferation of energy-sucking computers and other plug loads.
The Executive Order provides some guidance for how federal agencies can save energy including:
- Using remote building energy performance assessment auditing technology;
- Participating in demand management programs;
- Ensuring that monthly performance data is entered into the Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for covered buildings;
- Incorporating, where feasible, the consensus-based, industry standard Green Button data access system into reporting, data analytics, and automation processes;
- Implementing space utilization and optimization practices and policies;
- Conforming, where feasible, to city energy performance benchmarking and reporting requirements;
- Installing and monitoring advanced energy meters in all federal data centers; and
- Establishing a power usage effectiveness target of 1.2 to 1.4 for new data centers and less than 1.5 for existing data centers.
Photo of federal buildings via Shutterstock.