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Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

In keeping with the annual reporting requirements of the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA) , as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct); Executive Order (EO) 12759, Federal Energy Management, and EO 12902, Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation at Federal Facilities, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is submitting this report to the Department of Energy (DOE). This report describes the progress that EPA has made in the area of energy and water conservation from October 1996 through October 1997. This report addresses the following topics:

Appendices are also included to provide specific consumption data (Appendix A), a copy of an EPA and DOE partnership letter (Appendix B), and motor vehicle information (Appendix C).


The main objective of EPA’s Energy and Water Conservation Program is to effectively and efficiently use natural resources when designing, constructing, and maintaining the Agency’s facilities and facility systems. To meet this objective, the program considers available and reusable waste streams, existing infrastructure, and resource investments in an effort to produce comprehensive systems that dovetail with existing ones. This effort intends to use established resources conservatively and incorporate advanced and innovative technologies that are cost effective and environmentally sound throughout their life cycles. The program is committed to reduce energy consumption by upgrading existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems without chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) technologies, and by incorporating innovative energy-efficient and renewable technologies where feasible. This objective is driven jointly by federal energy and water management regulations, and the mission and commitment of EPA.


Energy Reduction: Tools for Meeting Our 10 Percent Goal

As mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, EPA reduced energy use by 10 percent between 1985 and 1995. EPA achieved this by using a progressive approach at owned and operated facilities, including:

Appendix A provides this year’s consumption data, which shows the Agency is still on target with maintaining past reductions.

Moving Forward: Attaining 20 Percent Reduction by 2000 and 30 Percent by 2005

Over the last two years, EPA’s energy program has been engaged in aggressive and broad-reaching program activities to achieve the 20 percent reduction goal required by EPAct, as well as the 30 percent reduction goal called for in EO 12902. While implementing its program, the Agency learned that its largest energy conservation opportunity is within the HVAC system of its laboratories. Currently EPA monitors energy and water useage at the 16 laboratories where the Agency pays the utility bills.

EPA’s reported energy consumption includes only facilities where most of the space is dedicated to laboratories. Due to energy-intensive health and safety requirements for one-pass air for a laboratory, EPA’s energy consumption is extraordinarily high. One-pass air, strict temperature and humidity level requirements as well as high-tech energy intensive laboratory equipment cause EPA’s level of energy consumption to dwarf the other federal agencies, who do not have as much laboratory space. To address these demands, EPA is aggressively pursing energy-efficient upgrades at several of its laboratories.

Direct digital controls (DDC) allow environmental control and other systems to become individually "intelligent," with the capacity for self-sufficient and system- integrating operations. For example, a single room occupancy sensor can be dedicated to control lighting and air conditioning as well as report security alarms.

The Agency’s strategy for achieving the 20 percent reduction goal by 2000 is to incorporate energy-efficient HVAC technologies in of EPA’s most energy-intensive laboratories. The 30 percent reduction by 2005 will be met by installing automated control systems to monitor and adjust those technologies so that they run at the most efficient levels and conduct energy upgrades at other facilities.

Due to the significant initial cost of comprehensive energy upgrades, EPA is pursuing energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs)—a form of third party financing which pays for upgrades through utility bill savings, in order to make the upgrades possible for the Agency. This funding mechanism allows the Agency to obtain energy-efficient technologies without having to commit capital costs.

EPA Leadership in Reducing Energy Consumption

Federal agencies have the capacity and responsibility to provide leadership in energy-efficient management practices and to encourage the expanded use of environmentally beneficial products and technologies. To meet this responsibility, EPA signed a letter of commitment to partner with DOE in support of the Federal Energy Star® Buildings Program to demonstrate its commitment to being a leader in energy conservation. (See Appendix B for a full copy of the Letter of Commitment.) Both parties recognize that widespread use of cost-effective, energy-efficient building design and technologies in consideration with other energy-efficient measures can improve personnel productivity, reduce emissions of many pollutants, reduce needless expenses, and improve the nation’s energy security and economic competitiveness.

This letter of commitment addresses two objectives. First, it reaffirms EPA’s responsibility to install, at a minimum, all cost-effective energy conservation measures that payback within 10 years or less by 2005, as required by EPAct, section 152, Subtitle F, and EO 12902, section 301.

Second, as the co-administrator of the Energy Star® Building program, and a partner under this agreement, EPA recognizes its responsibility to serve as an example of excellence and leadership for program implementation. Therefore, this commitment encourages EPA to maximize its energy efficiency and pollution prevention of its facilities by aggressively pursuing energy conservation measures with payback periods beyond 10 years.

The other main points of the letter, which reinforce EPA’s existing program fundamentals, are listed below:

Personnel Performance Standards

EPA has developed personnel performance standards to rate staff efforts toward achieving the energy and water conservation program objectives as, outstanding, fully successful, or unsatisfactory. Specifically, for the objective of "implementing energy-efficient technologies and strategies for each new construction and retrofit project for assigned facilities," the Agency has developed the following personnel performance standards:

Outstanding. Implements advanced energy-efficient technologies and strategies consistent with the Energy Star® Buildings principles, including use of free-energy sources, optimization of renewable technologies, and the automation of building controls to minimize energy waste. Implements all projects with a 10-year payback or less, and aggressively pursues projects with a payback period greater than 10-years if pollution prevention and societal cost reduction are greater than 25 percent. Utilizes commissioning procedures and metrics to verify energy conservation. Evaluates all life-cycle impacts, including system maintenance, energy conservation, costs to society, and avoided pollution. Maintains accurate records for purposes of tracking energy reduction and pollution prevention at the facility level.

Fully Successful. Considers energy efficiency in new construction and retrofit projects. Recommends projects with a payback of less than 10 years. Generally supports the mission of the National Energy and Water Conservation Program.

Unsatisfactory. Does not consider energy-efficient technologies or strategies.

Implementation of these standards ensures that personnel will consider energy-efficient opportunities and will pursue options that are feasible.

Pollution Prevention Umbrella: A Comprehensive Approach

EPA’s pollution prevention initiative encompasses a variety of programs, including energy and water conservation, chemical management, waste prevention and recycling, affirmative procurement of products, and Green Buildings. Pollution prevention through energy conservation is a significant factor for EPA. The Agency is working to communicate the impact between energy demand, energy production, and pollution generation.

Team Leaders

EPA’s integrated pollution prevention management program, organized via a steering committee led by the Agency’s Office of Administration (OA), is comprised of technical, programmatic, and administrative staff from throughout EPA. This committee has brought together long-standing working relationships and programs designed to promote pollution prevention at EPA facilities. Through this committee, EPA conducted a benchmarking study to compare the Agency’s pollution prevention program with the private sector. Specifically regarding its energy program, EPA was reassured that there are technologies that can be incorporated in a laboratory environment to balance the heavy energy demands required by the one-pass air requirements set forth by health and safety regulations. The commercial sector continues to support the bundling of technologies to provide maximum efficiency, and is working to bring this concept, along with funding options, to the federal government.

Federal Procurement Challenge

Federal purchasing can play a positive role in moving the commercial marketplace toward the development and widespread use of products that save energy and water, and use renewable resources. DOE established the Federal Procurement Challenge to encourage federal agencies to efficiently access these environmentally responsible products and encourage their use in the marketplace. EPA accepted this challenge and is committed to:

Energy Star Computers

On April 2, 1996, EPA issued a final rule adding coverage to the EPA Acquisition Regulation Energy Star Computers versus Conventional Energy Consumption (Watts): click here for text description(EPAAR) on energy-efficient computer equipment. This final rule, which replaces Procurement Policy Notice 94-9, calls for all purchases of microcomputers, including personal computers, monitors, and printers to meet EPA Energy Star® requirements for energy efficiency. The final rule was effective on April 17, 1996.

As a result of the Energy Star® program, EPA purchases energy-efficient computers, printers, and monitors. Currently, EPA is collaborating with DOE and General Services Administration (GSA) to expand the program.

Energy Savings Performance Contracts

Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) allow facilities to undertake large-scale energy efficiency upgrades without accruing capital costs. Under this financing mechanism, the Agency can implement upgrades by signing a contract with an energy services company (ESCo). The ESCo funds, installs, operates and maintains the energy-efficient upgrade project. Based on the contractual agreement, EPA pays a portion of its annual energy cost savings to the ESCo for the life of the contract.

In FY96, EPA initiated its first ESPC in order to provide the NVFEL in Ann Arbor, MI, with a much needed energy upgrade. EPA will be awarding this ESPC in the spring of FY98. From the exercise of developing the NVFEL ESPC, EPA is using that contract as a template to develop two other ESPCs. More information on the NVFEL ESPC is provided later in this report.

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