Carper Applauds Administration Effort To Improve Federal Government’s Energy Efficiency And Reduce Energy Costs

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) praised the White House Council on Environmental Quality‘s release of the Federal Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans, which work to achieve environmental, economic and energy goals, as called for in the Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance (Executive Order 13514) signed by President Obama on October 5, 2009.  This announcement marks the first time agencies have developed and submitted Sustainability Plans that are based on a positive return on investment for the American taxpayer.


"The plans released by agencies today are the roadmaps to a more environmentally sustainable and cost efficient federal government," said Sen. Carper. "There’s no silver bullet to lessening our dependence on foreign oil and lowering the cost of our operations – but there may be silver buckshot. Large and small agencies alike have presented strategies and solutions ranging from major building retrofits and on-site renewable energy installations, to reducing office waste and purchasing greener products.   While this is a great first step, it’s just the beginning of the federal government’s efforts to lead by example.  These plans will – and should – evolve along the way as agencies work to reach some pretty ambitious goals and benchmarks.  We in the Congress, along with our partners in the Administration, plan on holding agencies to account and offering any assistance they might need as they begin this worthwhile journey.  It’s clear that we can fuel a brighter and more responsible federal government using the cleanest and cheapest energy of all – the energy we don’t use." 


Under the Executive Order, Federal agencies were required to submit Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans (Sustainability Plans) to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  The plans provide agency-specific strategies to meet goals and targets that increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), reduce fleet petroleum consumption, conserve water, reduce waste, support sustainable communities, and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally responsible products and technologies. 


Highlights of the plans include:

o   Department of Defense (DoD): DoD’s plan clearly links sustainability goals with energy security and the Department’s mission. DoD plans to further develop on-site renewable energy generation; in FY2009 10% of the energy used by DoD (both transportation-related and electricity) came from renewable sources. The Air Force will certify all aircraft and systems against a 50/50 alternative fuel blend by 2011. The Navy plans to deploy the "Great Green Fleet" by 2016– a carrier strike group of nuclear vessels and ships powered by biofuel.

o   Department of Justice (DOJ): DOJ has already awarded 17 Energy Service Performance Contracts (ESPCs) that will help the department meet its greenhouse gas, energy, and water goals.  These contracts work by having a company pay out of their own pocket to renovate a facility with energy efficient retrofits. The company’s contract is then paid back out of the energy savings generated from the renovation. This means that governments can reduce energy use, help clean up the environment, cut back on the money they have to spend for heating and lighting, and all on someone else’s dime. 

o   Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS): IMLS is a small agency with fewer than 100 employees. Their plan includes clear milestones for raising telework participation to 75% up from 25% as a strategy for meeting multiple goals.

o   Department of Transportation (DOT): DOT has established an awards program to highlight intra-agency best practices in waste prevention, recycling, and green procurement that complements its comprehensive Green Procurement Plan.

o   National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): NARA has achieved a 27% reduction in energy use from FY2003 to FY2009 through building efficiency and operations improvements, and intends to install solar arrays on the roofs of all 16 of its facilities.


o   Department of State (State): State’s plan includes a modernization of its Charleston, SC facility to achieve LEED Platinum certification and meet net-zero energy goals.