SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham met with federal officials in San Francisco to determine how California-based federal agencies can cut energy demand even further to help relieve the state’s energy crisis.

The meeting follows President George W. Bush’s announcement requiring federal agencies to take immediate steps to conserve energy and reduce peak load at their facilities.

The federal government uses approximately 1.5% of the total energy load in California. With the potential for electricity shortages in California, the Northeast, and the Northwest, the president’s directive calls on the federal government to set an example for the rest of the country on reducing energy usage.

The Energy Department’s action plan to reduce energy use includes directives for federal managers to pre-cool buildings during off-peak times. Employees are asked to be diligent in their use of lighting and office equipment.

Within 30 days, agencies are required to report to President Bush, through Abraham, on which conservation actions have been taken.

Federal agencies in California have already demonstrated how they can successfully reduce peak demand, making a sizeable contribution to the effort to avoid electrical emergencies. The DOE has issued a detailed plan to further reduce energy use.

During Stage 2 or Stage 3 emergencies in California, facilities are to rapidly reduce electricity loads through increasing indoor air temperature to 78°F or shutting off nonessential equipment and lighting.

Every federal facility in California has been asked to participate in a May 24 Emergency Load Reduction Test sponsored by the California Energy Commission. The exercise will require federal, state, and local governments and private sector businesses to reduce peak loads and conserve energy as if a Stage 3 emergency had been declared.

Publication date: 05/14/2001