The old adage ‘easier said than done’ applies to virtually almost all aspects of life. Consider the Department of Energy for example. The government agency has been massively campaigning towards energy efficiency and conservation towards sustainability for the past few years. But lately the agency’s accomplishments in this area are getting fewer and farther between.
If you have ever visited the government’s Dept. of Energy website, you have probably seen articles containing advice on how to conserve energy. Articles suggest using advanced light sources such as light-emitting diodes (LED). However, it seems that the agency itself is having problems implementing the advice. Many of the offices are still utilizing old fluorescent bulbs that they themselves have been campaigning to stop using. Its internal audit has issued this report in the middle of the department’s effort to disseminate information about energy efficiency and conservation.
Internal Audit Report on Department of Energy’s Conservation Effort
The report revealed that only a few of the government offices have started using the LED lights it has been promoting. Also, the agency invested in a technology that would turn off lights at a certain time at night. This would be a great way to conserve energy. However, it did not purchase the central control unit that would carry out the function of turning the light system off. Stephanie Mueller, spokeswoman for the agency, has acknowledged that the government is lagging in certain areas. She even admitted that it needs to work more on energy conservation as well. She claimed one of the reasons why the new LED lights have not been installed is because the many of the buildings are located in high security areas. Plus, there are other reasons. For example, the majority of offices do not have a plan to redistribute the savings and later use it for other energy conservation projects. Only one among the seven locations has a system in place reinvest the savings.
Serious Energy Conservation Project on the Way
The agency pays around $190 million yearly for its electricity bills. What is more shocking is that $76 million of it is spent on the lighting system alone. The internal audit suggested around $2.2 million worth of electricity bills will be saved if appropriate energy-efficient light source will be used. The department is set to carry out plans to replace 600 outdoor lights of the Forrestal Building, one of the seven sites maintained by the agency. The project will save around 475 megawatt-hours yearly, a definitely huge savings and would free up most electricity to households which typically uses around 475 megawatt-hours a year.