US Government Energy Consumption Continues to Decrease

Can storage add to the decline?


From a high of 1.55 quadrillion BTU in 1975, the Federal energy appetite has shrunk to 0.96 quadrillion BTU, paced by a reduction in a facility energy reduction of nearly 50% (200k to 105k BTU/ft2), accompanied by reduced jet fuel consumption by military aircraft. In 2013—the most recent figures available from FEMP—vehicles and equipment energy usage accounted for 62% of all Federal energy consumption, with facilities responsible for the remainder.

Fed energy

But when it comes to expenditures, the picture is not so rosy. In terms of 2013 dollars—and despite moderate fuel costs—federal energy costs have risen since its low point in 2000 of $10 billion, to $24.5 billion in 2013.

Several sustainability goals currently affecting energy consumption by the US government were established by the Energy Independence Act (EISA) of 2007, which set requirements for federal agencies, including:

• Reduce petroleum fuel consumption in federal motor vehicles by at least 20% from an FY 2005 baseline by the start of FY 2016

• Reduce energy intensity in buildings by 3% each year, or by a total of 30%, by FY 2015 relative to an FY 2003 baseline

• Reduce energy consumption from fossil fuels in any new federal buildings acquired or currently-owned buildings undergoing extensive renovations by 65% in FY 2015, and work toward the goal of a 100% reduction by FY 2030 relative to an FY 2003 baseline.

A subsequent Executive Order issued by President Obama in 2009 further required federal facilities to:

• Meet guidelines on energy efficiency, water efficiency, and environmental impacts in 95% of the new contracts undertaken for products and services

• Reduce potable water consumption intensity by 2% each year, or by a total of 26% by FY 2020, compared with an FY 2007 baseline.

fed 2

What interests me are the opportunities presented by facilities and vehicles categories that are candidates for energy storage, both in terms of substitution of renewables such as solar and wind for petroleum, coal, and natural gas, and their support for microgrid deployment. With the US Federal government one of the largest energy consumers in the world, in-place goals and guidelines are beginning to have a positive impact on reducing demands. It remains to be seen what impact energy storage systems will have in helping the government meeting them. What thoughts might you have on the situation?


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