WASHINGTON — A new survey of federal agency purchasing decision makers shows 74 percent agree energy efficiency is among the most powerful means of meeting increasing energy needs, achieving cost savings, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Zogby Intl. survey was sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) and Schneider Electric.

The independent survey of 204 government leaders asked 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.

“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, ASE. “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 taxpayer money.”

The survey found a vast majority (87 percent) said energy is important to fulfilling their agency’s core mission, while 56 percent of respondents say their current culture encourages energy efficiency.

Twenty-nine 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.

The main drivers were cost savings (45 percent), environmental benefits (17 percent), and federal law and policy (12 percent).

The top obstacles to meeting energy-efficiency goals include lack of funding (37 percent), organizational barriers (20 percent), and 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.”

Publication date: 11/4/2013 

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