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Berkeley Lab Acts to Implement Presidential "Greening" Order

Last year, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13123, which establishes stringent new goals for energy management in federal facilities. In doing this, he recognized that the federal government can do a great deal to reduce its energy bill and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as its impact on the environment, simply by making energy efficiency a criterion in purchasing and retrofitting facilities with off-the-shelf, energy-efficient technologies.

In response, Deputy Lab Director Klaus Berkner issued a General Administrative Memo, titled Greening the Government through Efficient Energy Management," directing all Berkeley Lab employees to comply with the Executive Order. The memo (see sidebar) asks Lab employees to pay special attention to energy efficiency when purchasing energy-using equipment and products, selecting models with an Energy Star® label or those in the top 25% of energy efficiency, as designated by the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).

Along with its energy-savings goals, the Order establishes specific measures to be undertaken by federal agencies (including National Lab facilities) and new provisions for annual reporting and accountability. These new federal guidelines replace an earlier Executive Order dating from 1994.

EETD staff in the Washington, D.C. Projects Office, including Jeff Harris, Phil Coleman, and Michelle Ware, have been heavily involved in the analysis supporting DOE/FEMP recommendations for energy-efficient government purchasing. Part 4 of the Executive Order calls on agencies to use life-cycle cost analysis in making investment and purchase decisions about facilities and energy-using equipment and directs DOE to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in designating additional Energy Star®-labeled products, consistent with the top 25% of efficient products on the market.

Lab staff are also helping DOE/FEMP to partner with the General Services Agency (GSA), the Defense Logistics Agency, and other federal organizations to educate buyers on requirements, designate efficient products in federal supply catalogs and on-line listings, and develop innovative ways of financing small purchases of energy-efficient equipment. Our staff helped DOE create the FEMP Web site on energy-efficient purchasing, with specific guidance on how to purchase more than 30 types of energy-efficient products. Finally, Division researchers are participating in a pilot project on using a "second price tag" to help buyers easily compare products in terms of future energy costs as well as initial purchase price.

We are also working with EPA and DOE to extend the federal leadership to energy-efficient purchasing practices for state and local governments, schools, and other corporate and institutional buyers. With U.S. Agen? or International Development support, we are exploring opportunities for energy-efficient government purchasing in Mexico, building on the FEMP model. We have also evaluated federal energy management programs around the globe.

In addition to promoting federal purchases of energy-efficient products, the Executive Order contains numerous provisions for auditing federal facilities, financing energy-saving measures through energy-saving performance contracts (ESPCs), measuring and verifying savings, and assisting in the design of new construction and retrofit projects. EETD staff are involved with FEMP and other agencies in each of these areas.

The EETD Design Assistance team, led by Rick Diamond, works on innovative design projects with several federal agencies. Examples include a high-profile collaboration with GSA on energy management controls at the San Francisco Federal Building, advanced lighting projects with the U.S. Postal Service and the Coast Guard, and ongoing efforts with the National Park Service on greening the Presidio of San Francisco. The Executive Order directs agencies to designate showcase facilities that "highlight energy or water efficiency and renewable energy improvements." Berkeley Lab staff are involved with several of these showcase projects, such as the Thoreau Center at the Presidio of San Francisco, which houses a group of nonprofit organizations in a building designed with energy-efficient features, photovoltaic panels, and electric vehicle charging stations. Bill Carroll coordinates EETD work, through a multi-Lab council, to evaluate new energy technologies for use in federal facilities as part of the FEMP New Technologies Development Program. Berkeley Lab is also working with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) on a pilot project to use federal buying power as a means of speeding commercialization of new energy-saving technologies, beginning with a "technology procurement" of an advanced, energy-saving rooftop "packaged" (unitary) air conditioner.

EETD's Applications Team under Dale Sartor and Charles Williams provides technical support to FEMP for ESPC projects at some 30 federal sites in the Western, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions. Steve Kromer and Satish Kumar are helping FEMP develop advanced information tools to streamline the management of ESPC-funded projects as well as those financed by utilities, Department of Defense shared-savings contracts, and federal agencies' own funds. This builds on earlier Berkeley Lab work on measurement and verification (M&V) guidelines to help federal customers, ESCOs, and DOE determine that the energy and cost savings are real In a related area, Bill Carroll coordinates the FEMP Interlaboratory Coordinating Council, which oversees development of software to help federal agencies design and manage energy-efficiency projects.

Chuck Goldman and Bill Golove work through FEMP to help federal agencies use utility programs for energy efficiency and project financing, as well as negotiate successfully for lower-cost power in newly deregulated, competitive markets. Berkeley Lab is also developing a "how-to" guide for federal agencies interested in green power purchases along with guidelines for agencies to verify whether power sources are genuinely "green."

In the future, EETD staff will work with FEMP to develop new strategies to help federal agencies reduce their energy costs. For example, Berkeley Lab's leading-edge work on energy efficiency in "high-tech buildings" (such as laboratories and clean-rooms) is directly relevant to federal laboratory facilities and other buildings with energy-intensive "process" uses. Next-generation contracting mechanisms and M&V tools should help agencies to optimize both supply and demand-side cost savings from a single energy services supplier. Streamlined Web-based tools for managing project information, now under development by the Lab, can be applied to a wide range of federal and non-federal projects.

— Annie Tsai

For more information, contact:

  • Jeff Harris
  • (202) 484-0880; fax (202) 484-0888
  • William Carroll
  • (510) 486-4890; fax (510) 486-7290

FEMP web site

This research is supported by the Federal Energy Management Program of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

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