Agency teams honored for energy conservation efforts

The White House on Thursday recognized five agency teams for their efforts to reduce the federal government's energy consumption.

"Our honorees have proven that the government can be a shrewd user of resources," said Mark Everson, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget.

With more than 500,000 buildings, the government is the world's largest energy consumer. President Bush, like President Clinton before him, has called on agencies to bolster their conservation efforts.

Clinton issued an executive order in June 1999 requiring the use of energy-efficient building design and technology. Roughly two years later, Bush built on this effort by ordering federal agencies to use energy-efficient appliances.

Teams from the Commerce and Health and Human Services departments, the General Services Administration, the Navy and the Army received 2002 Presidential Awards for Leadership in Federal Energy Management for their efforts to implement the orders.

Together, the award recipients saved the government more than $100 million and prevented roughly 240,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the earth's atmosphere, OMB estimated.

The Navy Shipboard Energy Conservation team earned the "outstanding performance" award for saving 1 million barrels of fuel in fiscal 2001 by managing fuel consumption and transit speeds. The team's efforts resulted in a savings of $42 million, enough money to operate 19 destroyers for a year.

The Commerce team won the "institutionalization" award for developing a plan to maintain the agency's annual 2 percent reduction in energy use that has resulted in a 34 percent decrease in consumption since 1985. GSA received an "implementation" award for investing about $50 million in new energy-efficient office equipment.

The White House also handed a team from HHS and the Army the award for "results." This team invested $25 million in improving a facility at Ft. Detrick, Md., which it expects to result in $60 million in energy savings.

The Defense Department's Pentagon Renovation Office won the "outreach" award by engaging the private sector and local governments in energy conservation efforts. The renovation team also used environmentally-friendly building materials and recycled about 70 percent of construction debris.

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