The Energy Department today announced the winners of the 31st annual Federal Energy and Water Management Awards. These awards recognize the commitment made by federal agencies to invest in efficiency measures that save taxpayer money and increase U.S. energy security. Through their actions, this year’s award winners saved a total of 6 trillion Btu of energy, nearly 2 billion gallons of water, and almost $165 million during the 2011 fiscal year. Their initiatives also helped offset more than 78 billion Btu of fossil-based energy through a combination of renewable energy generation and purchases. The energy savings alone are equivalent to removing more than 100,000 cars from the road for one year or eliminating the average annual energy use of more than 55,000 households.
This year, 33 individuals, teams, and organizations from across the federal government received awards for a variety of outstanding and innovative efforts that have improved energy, water, and vehicle fleet efficiency. Winners include staff serving the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy; the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the General Services Administration; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Award winners this year demonstrated the substantial benefits of using performance-based contracts to meet mandated energy goals. Five teams implemented energy savings performance contracts and utility energy service contacts in 2011, committing a portion of the cost savings over the life of the contract to pay for the upfront capital costs of the projects. These agreements will save an estimated 5.2 trillion Btu over the life of the contracts.
The combined accomplishments of this year’s winners include:
- Implementing flight planning and optimization best practices that saved 5.4 trillion Btu in aviation fuel consumption.
- Implementing facility-wide changes to operations and maintenance practices, saving 580 billion Btu by upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment and by installing high efficiency lighting, building materials, and energy management control systems. This includes saving 78 billion Btu through the installation of renewable energy systems including solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, cogeneration systems using landfill gas, and geothermal heat pumps.
- Installing significant water efficiency improvements, saving nearly 2 billion gallons of water by upgrading plumbing fixtures, detecting and repairing leaks, upgrading irrigation systems, using native landscaping, and using reclaimed and recovered groundwater.
- Building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified facilities with state-of-the-art technologies and environmentally-friendly workspaces.
- Implementing energy savings performance contracts, utility energy service contracts, and power purchase agreements to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and greenhouse gas management projects.