The survey of 204 government leaders asked participants a variety of questions relating to energy efficiency within their agencies including the importance of energy efficiency and progress towards goals, main drivers for improving energy efficiency, and challenges and obstacles. Findings from the survey include the following.
Importance and progress in achieving energy efficiency:
• 87 percent say energy is important to fulfilling their agency’s core mission.
• 56 percent of respondents say their current culture encourages energy efficiency.
• 29 percent consider energy efficiency among the agency’s top five priorities, with 36 percent listing it as a second tier priority.
• The majority of respondents grade their progress on meeting energy efficiency mandates at a B (38 percent) or C (31 percent) level, with only 6 percent grading their agency’s efforts at the A level.
Main drivers for pursuing energy efficiency:
• Cost savings (45 percent).
• Environmental benefits (17 percent).
• Federal law and policy (12 percent).
Challenges and obstacles:
• 70 percent of those surveyed believe the current economic environment and potential tightening of their agency’s budget affects their ability to pursue energy efficiency projects.
The top obstacles to meeting energy efficiency goals include:
• Lack of funding (37 percent).
• Organizational barriers, such as procedures (20 percent).
• Lack of internal enthusiasm to execute (18 percent).
“It’s no secret that energy is essential to the core missions of federal agencies. However, that energy is costly, placing a significant burden on agency budgets and a sizeable footprint on the environment through greenhouse gas and other emissions,” said Ellen Kotzbauer, segment manager, U.S. Federal Government, Schneider Electric. “Energy efficiency can play a key role in enabling agencies to be better stewards of the environment and taxpayer dollars, which would in turn lower costs and reduce emissions. These survey results show that the majority of agency leaders recognize this and are working diligently to increase energy efficiency to achieve their mission and lead by example to secure our nation’s energy future.”
“As the nation’s largest energy user, I’m encouraged to learn that the majority of federal agency decision-makers value energy efficiency as the fastest, cheapest, and cleanest way to meet their energy needs,” said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy. “However, despite being viewed favorably, support and tools to implement energy efficiency measures are sorely lacking. The federal government needs to invest in energy efficiency so that agencies can cut waste, become more productive, and save taxpayers money.”
Additional findings from the survey point to progress made on the use of private sector financing to overcome capital constraints, facility auditing and metering, and areas of focus to improve energy efficiency initiatives moving forward:
• Leveraging private sector financing to achieve efficiency goals: 14 percent of respondents say their agency has entered into an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) or utility energy savings contract (UESC) following the 2011 White House Memorandum, which expires at the end of 2013. Thirty percent plan to enter into an ESPC/UESC before the end of 2013.
• Facility auditing and metering: 32 percent say their agency or site has audited/metered most facilities in order to understand energy consumption trends. Just 12 percent have audited all facilities, and 11 percent have not audited any facilities.
• Changing human behaviors: 46 percent believe “changing human behaviors” is the most important solution for helping federal agencies achieve energy efficiency goals.
• Vulnerability to power disruptions: 71 percent say their agency or facility is vulnerable to power disruptions that would impact mission effectiveness due to their dependency on the commercial electric grid.
Publication date: 9/23/2013