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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Estimated Energy Savings from Energy-Efficient Federal Purchasing

  • Author(s): Johnson, Francis X.
  • et al.

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) of the Department of Energy (DOE) assists federal agencies in complying with energy-efficient procurement requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT) and Executive Order 13123 (Clinton 1999). The Executive Order directs all federal agencies to buy ENERGY STAR(registered trademark) labeled products or products in the upper quartile of the market with respect to energy efficiency. FEMP issues Product Energy Efficiency Recommendations (PEERs) which establish energy performance levels consistent with the Executive Order for each type of product. The FEMP program on energy-efficient procurement also contributes to the federal goal of reducing energy intensity in buildings in 2010 by 35% compared to 1985 levels. This report projects estimated annual energy and cost savings in 2010 from federal purchases of twenty-one energy-using products for which FEMP has issued efficiency recommendations to date. These products fall into five groups: residential equipment, residential appliances, office equipment, lighting, and water-saving products. The five product groups together account for approximately one-fourth to one-third of total federal energy use in buildings, although only selected products within each group - those most widely purchased by federal agencies - are covered by FEMP recommendations. Not included in this analysis are several important equipment categories: non-residential heating and cooling equipment, electric motors, transformers, additional lighting products, and windows and roofing. The methodology for estimating savings is based on a detailed characterization of residential, office, and other buildings in the federal stock. Data for the years 1995-97 are used to characterize the installed equipment base. Equipment turnover estimates are based on end-of-life replacement plus an allowance for new construction and product replacement during building renovation and refurbishment. Estimated energy savings per unit are based on assumptions used in the cost-effectiveness section of the PEERs. Absent reported data on actual federal purchases, at a sufficient level of detail, we developed several scenarios based on the likely range of federal compliance with the FEMP-recommended energy efficiency levels. These scenarios range from a relatively conservative case (Scenario 3) which assumes that energy-efficient federal purchasing increases gradually, from a 20% (pre-program) base case today to 80% penetration by 2010, to a "Maximum Technical Potential" case, in which all federal purchases beginning immediately, are assumed to reflect the "best-available" level of efficiency identified in the FEMP purchasing recommendations. For all the scenarios we assume that, while most federal purchasers will buy a "base case" product (i.e., low first-cost and relatively inefficient), an average of 20% of all federal purchases already represent the more efficient models that meet FEMP recommendations. This is the baseline from which future savings are calculated. Estimated annual savings in 2010 for the twenty-one products together range from 8.2 to 30.8 TBtu (site energy) for the four scenarios, with corresponding energy cost savings of $119-426 million/year and reduced CO2 emissions of about 0.3-1.2 million tons of carbon per year (Tables 8-10 and Figures 10-12). These savings amount to 2-9 % of annual energy use in federal buildings, and 3-12% of annual energy costs. They also represent between 6% and 21% of the additional savings that federal agencies need to achieve, to meet the goals for 2010 set forth in Executive Order 13123. Purchases of energy-efficient fluorescent lighting products alone account for about one-third of the site energy savings in 2010. It is clear that the FEMP program for energy-efficient federal purchasing offers significant opportunities for energy and cost savings, and that the PEERs can make an important contribution to the federal goals for energy savings

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