Sen. Carper Introduces Bill to Save Taxpayers’ Money by Reducing Federal Agencies’ Energy Use

Legislation would improve federal energy management with enhanced energy efficiency and renewable energy measures

WASHINGTON – Today Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, introduced legislation to save taxpayer money by reducing federal agencies’ energy use. The Reducing Federal Energy Dollars Act of 2011(R-FED), would implement a comprehensive package of proposals to strengthen federal energy management efforts by encouraging and supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy use in federal facilities.

“Given the tremendous budget challenges we face, we need to look at every nook and cranny of the federal government for savings,” said Sen. Carper. “Reducing the enormous amount of money we spend on energy use in the federal government is one clear way we can cut costs. President Obama has set clear and ambitious energy reduction goals for federal agencies and we need to make sure they have all the tools and resources they need to reach them. Already, federal agencies are pursuing many ideas and technologies to reduce the amount of energy they consume, and adopt renewable energy such as solar panels on top of federal buildings. These proven technologies have resulted in financial savings that have more than paid for the initial financial investment. My bill would not only help agencies save money but also allow the federal government to lead by example in becoming more environmentally sustainable and less reliant on foreign sources of energy.”  

The Federal Government is the single largest energy user in the nation. In fiscal year 2008, the total energy consumption of Federal Government buildings and operations was roughly 1.5 percent of all energy consumption in the U.S. The energy bill for the Federal Government that year was $24.5 billion or about 0.8 percent of total Federal expenditures. Of that $24.5 billion, over $7 billion was spent on energy to operate Federal buildings alone.  

The legislation includes proposals to improve accountability and transparency of energy and water consumption by federal agencies; extending the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts to vehicles; updating Federal building energy efficiency performance standards; and requiring better management of computer energy use at federal agencies.