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Department of Energy Recognizes Winners of 2011 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu applauded on October 13 the winners of the 30th annual Federal Energy and Water Management Awards. These awards recognize the commitment by Federal agencies to invest in efficiency measures that save money for taxpayers, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create a stronger economy for the American people. Over the past 30 years, winners have saved almost $16 billion and an estimated 770 trillion Btu of energy.  This is enough energy to provide all the energy needs of Federal government facilities for two years.

In 2011, 29 individuals, teams, and organizations across the Federal government received Awards for outstanding and innovative efforts to implement sustainable strategies that improve energy, water, and vehicle fleet efficiency. Winners include employees from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Defense Logistics Agency; the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, and Veterans Affairs; and the General Services Administration.

"Investing in energy efficient and renewable energy technologies not only cuts government waste, it saves taxpayer money," said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. "Today's winners are not only helping their agencies meet waste reduction goals, they are also helping the nation decrease our dependence on oil, strengthen our economy, and reduce energy use and carbon pollution."

The 2011 winners contributed to 7.9 trillion Btu of energy savings through initiatives across the Federal government, the equivalent energy consumed by more than 83,000 households per year. Their initiatives also helped avoid the use of 49.6 million gallons of fuel equivalent to removing more than 113,000 cars from the road for one year and facilitated savings of more than $162 million in costs and 3.4 billion gallons of water.  Additionally, their projects helped to offset more than 250 billion Btu of fossil-based energy through a combination of renewable energy generation and purchases, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of more than 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These efforts are also helping to move cutting-edge clean energy technologies into the marketplace, create new American jobs, and strengthen our national security.

This awards program is held each year in October in conjunction with Energy Awareness Month to highlight the critical importance of energy efficiency and renewable resources and Federal efforts to lead by example in energy management. To see the complete list of this year's winners visit the 2011 Federal Energy and Water Management Award Winners Web page.

In 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, which called on the Federal government to dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and implement aggressive energy and water efficiency programs. The Federal government has already achieved substantive results towards cleaner energy and improved energy efficiency. Data for fiscal year 2010 shows that the Federal government has decreased energy consumption per square foot of building space by 15 percent compared with fiscal year 2003. The Federal government also reported purchasing or producing nearly 3,000 Gigawatt-hours of electricity from renewable sources, equivalent to 5.2 percent of its electricity use.

The combined accomplishments of this year's winners include:

  • Saving 250 billion Btu through the installation of renewable energy systems, including solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps.
  • Implementing facility-wide comprehensive changes to operations and maintenance practices, saving 1.5 trillion Btu by upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment, and by installing high efficiency lighting, building materials, and energy management control systems.
  • Installing significant water efficiency improvements, saving 3.4 billion gallons of water through high efficiency plumbing fixtures, upgrades to irrigation systems, use of native landscaping, and reuse of 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.

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Learn more about DOE's efforts to facilitate the Federal government's implementation of sound, cost-effective energy management and investment practices to enhance the nation's energy security and environmental stewardship.

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