Goals and Strategies
In This Section
To meet its federal energy reduction requirements, EPA relies on a number of short- and long-term approaches. These include:
- Ensuring that new facilities have well-designed, energy-saving mechanical and control systems and are appropriately commissioned so that they use less energy than the facilities they replace.
- Using the Agency's energy use reporting system to set priorities for energy audits, engineering studies, mechanical system design and construction projects, and recommissioning efforts.
- Recommissioning existing laboratories so that they operate as efficiently as possible with their current mechanical systems.
- Upgrading existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to make them more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly using both appropriated funds and the energy savings performance contracting mechanism to finance these upgrades.
- Conducting operations and maintenance (O&M) assessments. EPA launched a pilot O&M assessment program at five of its large laboratories in January 2006. Laboratory mechanical and control systems have become increasingly complex, and often EPA’s facility managers are not mechanical engineers or building control specialists. Typically, EPA contracts out most mechanical system operation support to private entities. O&M assessments evaluate each facility’s O&M contract documents against “best practice” contract language, evaluate the performance of the O&M contractors, and evaluate the preventative maintenance program at the facility. The assessments are aimed at helping EPA facility managers understand and improve the performance of their O&M contractors and the performance of the buildings they monitor.
- Incorporating innovative, renewable, and low emission technologies such as photovoltaics, fuel cells, ground source heat pumps, solar walls, and solar hot water heating systems into EPA facilities.
- Purchasing renewable energy wherever possible.To help stimulate the green power market, Executive Order 13123 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 allowed federal agencies to subtract, or "net out", renewable energy purchases from total energy consumption figures in order to meet their energy reduction requirements. Under Executive Order 13423, purchases of renewable energy may only contribute up to 60 percent of the annual energy reduction goal for FY 2008, and will gradually be reduced to zero by 2012. In developing and implementing its long-term energy master planning strategy, EPA plans to meet its energy reduction goals without netting out its renewable energy purchases.
- Communicating progress to EPA employees and the general public. EPA distributes a quarterly energy use report via e-mail to facility and senior program managers to educate and motivate them to conserve energy. The email also allows these managers to compare their energy performance with that of their peers at other facilities. Read more details on the Results page.
- Reducing energy use by:
- Realigning the facility planning, budgeting, acquisition, and maintenance processes.
- Developing new mechanical, control, and commissioning standards.
- Incorporating energy use considerations as part of the long-term facility master planning process, hiring architectural and engineering professionals with green building and energy conservation experience.
- Improving the allocation of scarce facility repair and improvement appropriations by more thoughtfully including energy conservation aspects in the facility budget allocation process.
Through these approaches, EPA is striving to significantly reduce its reliance on energy sources that emit greenhouse gases.
For information on facility-specific attempts to implement this strategy, visit our Facilities section.
To view how EPA is meeting its goals, visit the Energy Conservation Results page.