The Energy Department recognized 25 winners across the federal government as recipients of the 2014 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards. These annual awards highlight exceptional federal agency efforts for improving the nation’s energy, water, aviation and vehicle fleets. Each winner deployed cutting-edge practices that will significantly cut carbon pollution, protect the environment and strengthen national security.
Through their dedicated efforts, these leaders – serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy; the Departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the General Services Administration; and the Tennessee Valley Authority – saved 4.2 trillion British Thermal Units (Btu) of energy, nearly 1.3 billion gallons of water and more than $115.8 million during the 2013 fiscal year. The energy savings alone are equivalent to removing 56,800 cars from the road or eliminating the average energy use of more than 47,000 households annually.
Additionally, the results will offset more than 170 billion Btu of fossil-based fuel through a combination of renewable energy generation and purchases. Their successful methods can be replicated by others and support the Obama Administration’s goal for federal agencies to achieve 20 percent electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.
The accomplishments of the winners include:
Implementing aircraft fleet optimization and training practices, as well as increasing renewable fuel options for vehicle fleets, which reduced fuel consumption by 18 million gallons, or 2.2 trillion Btu;
Implementing facility-wide operations and maintenance changes to save almost 2 trillion Btu. This includes upgrading building systems, lighting, and materials. About 170 billion Btu were saved by installing solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, a landfill gas generating plant and ground-source heat pumps;
Installing significant water efficiency improvements, including water reuse systems, water circulation systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures and efficient irrigation practices, saving nearly 1.3 billion gallons of water; and executing energy savings performance contracts, utility energy service contracts, and power purchase agreements to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and greenhouse gas reduction projects.
The Federal Energy Management Program that administers the awards plays a central role in helping federal agencies achieve these energy and sustainability goals. The federal government overall – as the largest energy user in the world – is making great progress on its sustainability and energy goals. To date, the federal government improved the energy intensity of its buildings by more than 20 percent over the last ten years, purchased close to 10 percent of its electricity from renewables, is approaching 20 percent water savings, and is more than halfway toward the 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal of 28 percent. In leading by example, the federal government is helping drive adoption of clean energy practices more broadly to state and local governments and the private sector.