WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced that its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded green investments are helping federal buildings use less energy, even during harsh winters. After analyzing the energy usage data of 59 federal buildings in states that were hardest hit by this past winter, GSA found that these buildings, all of which received ARRA-funded green investments, used an average of 5.5 percent less energy compared to the winter before the projects began. In addition, a third of these buildings showed double-digit energy savings.
Ruth Cox, GSA’s senior sustainability official, said, “Even during frigid temperatures and record snowfalls, GSA’s ARRA-funded green investments are helping make federal buildings more energy efficient. As the frequency of extreme weather events trends upward, it is important that federal buildings are able to meet the needs of occupants while also being cost-effective to operate.”
For example, at the Robert A. Young Federal Building in St. Louis, GSA used ARRA funds to invest in a complete retro-commissioning study to ensure proposed energy upgrades most effectively reduced operation and maintenance costs, as well as energy demand. The resulting project installed advanced metering systems to track energy consumption, repaired building façade and windows, upgraded HVAC systems and controls, and retrofitted the building with efficient LED lighting. The project further offset energy use by installing a solar photovoltaic system on the roof. A winter energy reduction of 10.7 percent was achieved, with a full-year energy reduction of 20.5 percent.
The average energy usage intensity (EUI) of the 59 buildings analyzed was 5.5 percent lower over the harsh winter months in FY 2014 as compared to the same months in FY 2008. The FY 2008 winter (November 2007-March 2008) was used as the baseline because it was the last winter before the ARRA projects began. Of the 59 buildings, 20 reduced their winter energy usage intensity by 10 percent or more between FY 2008 and FY 2014. EUI is calculated by dividing total energy usage (i.e. chilled water, gas, electricity, steam, oil) by total number of square feet.
For more information, visit www.gsa.gov.
Publication date: 12/15/2014