Pryor Sponsors Initiative to Cut Energy Waste in Federal Government
Senator Pryor today introduced legislation to prompt federal agencies to take more active measures to make federal buildings more energy efficient.
"The U.S. federal government is the single largest consumer of energy in the world," said Pryor. "We must take aggressive steps to reduce the government's energy consumption and set an example for the private sector," Pryor said. "My bill integrates energy efficiency as a normal and important part of building management."
Pryor said the federal government invests approximately $400 million per year in energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings. However new energy and water conservation targets established in law and by a recent executive order by President Bush will require increased funding. He said an additional $600 million to $1.6 billion annually would be required to meet these goals. In order to realize the benefit of energy efficiency, a new federal implementation infrastructure must be put in place.
"Ambitious goals are not enough to curtail the federal government's energy consumption," said Pryor. "Since neither facility managers nor agency officials are held responsible for energy use, many inefficient facilities are left untouched and taxpayer dollars continue to be wasted"
Pryor's legislation requires each federal agency to periodically complete comprehensive energy and water evaluations for all large federal facilities. Agencies must then be required to implement identified energy and water efficiency measures that have verified savings. The bill will also ensure that funding is available to carry out these energy efficient measures, and that implementation and oversight are consistent regardless of the funding source. Projects may be funded through federal appropriations and/or Utility Energy Savings Contracts (UESCs). In addition, caps on the total funding allowed through an Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) would be lifted.
"The taxpayer has a right to know what the federal government is doing to conserve energy," said Pryor. "Transparency is very important. Each agency will have to certify compliance with the requirements of energy and water evaluations and implementation by using a web-based tracking system made available to the Administration, Congress and public."