by Brianna Crandall — December 12, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) just recognized 30 winners across the federal government with the 2016 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards. These annual awards highlight federal agencies’ commitments and accomplishments in leading the nation toward more sustainable energy, water and vehicle fleet use and saving taxpayer money and reducing pollution.
As the largest consumer of energy in the nation, the federal government has a responsibility to lead by example, says DOE. Through their innovative efforts, the 2016 winners — including staff serving the U.S. Air Force, Army, Army Corps of Engineers, Defense Logistics Agency, Marine Corps, and Navy; the Departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, Interior, and Veterans Affairs; the General Services and National Aeronautics and Space Administrations; and the Environmental Protection Agency — netted an energy savings equivalent to removing almost 48,000 cars from the road for one year or eliminating the average annual energy use from almost 24,000 households, estimates DOE.
Six individuals were recognized by their agencies for their career-long, committed efforts to help the federal government meet energy and water management goals. Twenty individuals and organizations implemented innovative projects and programs, resulting in an annual savings of 1.1 trillion Btu of energy, 359 million gallons of water, and almost $40 million last year.
Many of the winners utilized energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs), which allow agencies to make facility improvements with no added cost to the taxpayer and are critical to achieving America’s energy savings goals, points out DOE. Four additional winners were recognized specifically for their innovative efforts to overcome barriers and implement advanced solutions toward awarding performance contracts. The Department of the Army earned a special Director’s Award for achieving more than $1 billion in performance contracts alone toward the President’s Performance Contracting Challenge, which challenged the entire federal government to award $4 billion in performance contracts by the end of 2016.
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), which administers these awards, plays a central role in helping federal agencies to reduce energy and water use. In the 2015 fiscal year, the federal government improved the energy intensity of its buildings by 23% relative to 2003. FEMP also reports that the government generated or purchased more than 8% of its electricity from renewable resources, reduced its water use by 22%, increased its use of alternative fuels by 210%, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by almost 18% from respective baselines.
For a complete profile of this year’s winners and more information about the Federal Energy and Water Management Awards, visit the FEMP Web site.