CBS Newsletter
Summer 1998
pg. 1

Reducing the Federal Energy Bill Berkeley Lab's Work with the Federal Energy Management Program

It costs billions of dollars and uses more energy than any other entity in the United States. What is it? Answer: the Federal government. In fiscal year 1995, the Federal government spent $8 billion on a net energy consumption of 1.15 quadrillion BTUs. While that may be a lot of energy in absolute terms, the numbers have been improving for years. Compared with fiscal year 1985, the 1995 energy-use figure is down by 22.5%, and the costs are down $2.5 billion.

The decline is explained in part by the activities of FEMP (the Federal Energy Management Program) and the efforts of energy-efficiency experts at national laboratories, such as those at Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division and its Applications Team. Berkeley Lab researchers have worked extensively with FEMP and other government agencies for a number of years to find ways of applying advanced energy-efficiency technology and facilities-management practices to reduce the Federal energy bill [Spring 1995, p.1].

One reason for this improvement is that Congress directed the Federal government to become more energy-efficient. Section 543 of the National Energy Conservation Policy Act, as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, requires each Federal agency to reduce energy consumption by 10% in its Federal buildings by FY 1995 (measured against a FY 1985 baseline on a BTU/gross-square-foot basis) and by 20% by FY 2000. Executive Order 12902 aims at continued progress by requiring a 30% reduction by FY 2005.

Among the work that has helped advance these goals is the participation of Berkeley Lab Applications Team staff in such projects as the "greening" of the White House [Summer 1994, p.1], and the Presidio of San Francisco [Winter 1998, p.8]; design assistance for other Federal facilities; advanced technology demonstration projects such as the San Francisco Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate [Winter 1997, p.4]; purchasing guidelines for the Federal procurement of efficient technologies [Summer 1996, p.3]; and the development of measurement and verification protocols for energy efficiency in Federal buildings [Winter 1996, p.8]. FEMP is also supporting the Energy-Efficient Fixtures Laboratory work on a lighting project for the U.S. military [see next article].

The Super ESPC

A recent focus of the EET Division and its Applications Team is participation in FEMP's development of the Super Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). Team members Steve Kromer, Brad Gustafson, and Mike Holda participate in FEMP's Alternative Finance activities, along with many others at FEMP, DOE, and the national laboratories.

A Federal agency looking to meet its energy-consumption goal can contract with an energy service company (ESCO) using the ESPC to acquire investments from the private sector for energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects. The ESCO incurs the costs of designing, installing, financing, and maintaining energy systems; in return, it receives compensation based on a share of the cost savings from reduced utility and other operations and maintenance expenditures. FEMP provides standard ESPCs that agencies can use to quickly get a contract in place with an ESCO.

FEMP, with the participation of Berkeley Lab staff, has been developing a major improvement to the ESPC called the Super ESPC. The Super ESPC uses the same general contract terms and provisions as the conventional ESPC; but has several advantages over the standard ESPC. The Super ESPC blankets a much larger geographic area, and all Federal agencies can use it as a procurement vehicle. The conventional ESPC is designed to fund work at a specific site.

Also, the Super ESPC substantially reduces the time required to contract with an ESCO for its services-this is what should make Super ESPCs a highly effective application for Federal agencies. The contracting, the issuance of the request for proposals, establishment of terms and conditions, and the choosing of the contractors-in other words, the boilerplate terms and conditions for contracting-are done so the agencies don't have to deal with them. They can focus their energy more on site conditions-deciding what they want to improve-and less on the procurement process.

This new type of contract is modeled on the Federal government's indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracting process. As a result, agencies can get energy-efficiency retrofits started sooner, accelerating their energy and cost savings. In the past, facility personnel had to do their own contracting for energy-efficiency retrofit projects; the process could take 18 months, compared with three to six months under the Super ESPC. Agencies also have access to Department of Energy experts to help evaluate and award proposals and supervise design and technical construction.

Six Regions
FEMP is in the process of releasing six regional Super ESPCs: for the northern, mid-Atlantic, southern, midwest, central, and western regions. The agency has announced Super ESPC awards for two of the six, the western and southeastern regions, with others expected this year. The western-region contract will allow agencies to issue $750 million in ESPC delivery orders to improve energy efficiency at Federal facilities. For the future, FEMP is exploring possible ways to allow state and local governments to use Super ESPCs.

Berkeley Lab staff have been involved in the Super ESPC development process since the beginning and will help develop all six regional contracts. The work has included advising DOE on the technical aspects of the request for proposals, identifying and developing pilot sites for evaluating the contracts, and sitting on the technical evaluation committees. Gustafson, Holda, and Kromer are now working with Federal agencies to develop delivery orders and identify facilities that can use the energy-saving contractors available under the Super ESPC.

The Berkeley Lab staffers are also on the FEMP team that's developing delivery-order guidelines. This how-to manual will help agencies use the Super ESPC effectively. These guidelines, as well as other information on Super ESPCs, are available on the project finance page of the FEMP Web site <www.eren.doe.gov/FEMP/>.

The FEMP service network (FSN) is being developed to support agencies involved in ESPC projects from both the procurement and technical sides. Berkeley Lab staff are involved in setting up the FSN and will be participants when it is operating. Berkeley Lab and the other national labs, regional support offices and the contracting personnel will offer a team consisting of field, technical and contracting resource people.

—Allan Chen

Info icon

William Carroll
Environmental Energy Technologies Division
(510) 486-4890; (510) 486-6940 fax

Dale Sartor
The Applications Team
(510) 486-4988; (510) 486-5394 fax

More information is available at the Federal Energy Management Program Web site and the Applications Team Web site.

This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program.


FEMP Supports Energy-Efficient Lighting

The Energy-Efficient Fixtures Laboratory at Berkeley Lab is receiving support from FEMP for two efficient lighting-related projects, one involving military bases, and one for the U.S. Post Office.

At the Bolling Air Force Base in Washington D.C., Michael Siminovitch, Steve Johnson and Erik Page of the Fixtures Laboratory in cooperation with Gene Foley, Alliance to Save Energy, recently supervised an exchange of energy-efficient compact fluorescent-based torchiere floor lamps for hot-burning, inefficient, halogen torchieres. Siminovitch and his staff developed and tested a prototype model of the CFL-based torchiere that is now in commercial production by Emess Lighting, among other manufacturers [See Fall 1996, p.6]. Halogen torchieres, in addition to being 300-Watt energy guzzlers, are thought to have caused at least 200 fires in the U.S. Popular on university campuses, halogen torchieres have caused dormitory fires, as well as substantial increases in energy consumption. As a result, a number of universities such as Stanford and Yale have now banned their use and subsidized CFL-for-halogen torchiere exchanges to reduce fire hazard.

The halogen units are also popular in military housing, where they pose the same fire hazard-just weeks before the Bolling exchange, one caused a residential fire at the base. At a ceremony in January marking the start of the exchange program, the base's commandant expressed his satisfaction at the prospect of removing a safety hazard from his facility. Siminovitch and his staff are now conducting a follow-up study at Bolling to determine the number of use hours of the CFL torchiere. The data will help them estimate the energy-savings potential of CFL torchieres in the U.S. residential sector. They are also working with FEMP and the U.S. military to expand the CFL-for halogen torchiere exchange to other military bases.

A second project underway with initial seed money from FEMP is to develop energy-efficient lighting design for U.S. postal facilities. The staff of the Energy-Efficient Fixtures Lab will re-light a post office in the San Francisco Bay area town of Rodeo, and then test, measure and study the results. Efficient lighting demonstration projects at several more post offices will follow in the second phase of the project.

—Allan Chen


EETD Newsletter Home Page
CBS Newsletter Home Page
Table of Contents for this Issue