The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently recognized 32 winners across the federal government as recipients of the 2015 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards. These annual awards recognize exceptional efforts made to improve the nation’s energy, water, aviation and vehicle fleet efficiency within the federal government.
While the U.S. federal government continues to be one of the largest energy consumers in the world, its consumption has been steadily declining for nearly four decades, and now stands at less than 1 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) annually, the lowest since 1975 when data collection began. The energy savings being recognized by these awards alone are equivalent to removing more than 8,600 cars from the road for one year or eliminating the average annual energy use of more than 7,200 households.
This year’s winners include energy managers and others serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Army Corps of Engineers, Marine Corps, and Navy; the Departments of Energy, Interior, and Transportation; and the General Services, National Aeronautics and Space, and National Archives and Records Administrations. Through their committed efforts, 23 individuals and organizations implemented innovative projects and programs, resulting in an annual savings of 646 billion Btu of energy, 165 million gallons of water, and more than $13.5 million last year. These initiatives also helped offset more than 47 billion Btu of fossil-based energy through renewable energy generation, providing an example for other agencies to follow.
Six individuals were recognized for their long-term sustainability planning that will significantly help their respective agencies meet energy and water management goals. DOE also acknowledged three winners for their efforts to overcome performance contract barriers and implement advanced solutions to advance more energy-saving performance contracts. These individuals and teams are helping the federal government meet the President’s Performance Contracting Challenge to award $4 billion in performance contracts by the end of 2016, critical to achieving America’s energy reduction goals.
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), which administers these awards, plays a central role in helping federal agencies to reduce energy use. In fiscal year 2014, the federal government improved the energy intensity of its buildings by 21 percent relative to 2003. FEMP also reports that the government generated or purchased close to 9 percent of its electricity from renewable resources, reduced its water use by more than 20 percent, and is on track to meet the 2025 greenhouse gas reduction goal of 40 percent.
For a complete profile of this year’s winners, visit the Federal Energy Management Program’s website.