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Sustainable Operations

Energy
Footprint Focus Area

The Agency's goal for energy efficiency is to become an energy neutral Agency by 2020; 25% by 2012; 50% by 2016; and 100% by 2020.

Nationally, the Forest Service uses four main sources of energy for its facilities: electricity, natural gas, propane, and fuel oil. Energy use has two components-consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The amount of energy we sue is important, as is the CO2 emitted as a result of that use. In 2006, the Forest Service spent roughly 15.5 million dollars to light, heat, and cool its facilities. That use generated an estimated 185,600 tons of CO2. And these figures almost certainly underestimate the actual energy use.

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Our existing method for estimating our energy use is cost, but cost is an inconsistent indicator of actual use. Cost for natural gas and heating oil varies based on supply and demand, as well as regional availability. Using cost as the measure for consumption also fails to account for credit card purchases (e.g., for propane) and energy use in leased buildings.

The lag time between when energy bills are paid and when the energy is consumed is another potential inconsistency. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many bills for energy consumed in 2005 were not paid until 2006. This underestimated energy consumption in 2005 and artificially inflated it for 2006.

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Nationally, the Forest Service uses four main sources of energy for its facilities: electricity, natural gas, propane, and fuel oil.

Utility Bill Clean Up

Read about savings directly related to utility bill clean up efforts.

Advanced & Smart Metering

Power IT Down Event

Forest Service employees were encouraged to participate in Power IT Down Day onFriday, August 26th by shutting down and unplugging ALL electrical equipment before leaving the office. Power IT Down Day is a national event aimed to reduce the Government’s energy consumption. Participating in this event helps meet the Agency's goal of cutting our greenhouse gas emissions from building energy consumption and purchased electricity by 21 percent by 2020

Results:

Goal

Lead: WO Engineering

  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Reduce energy intensity by 3 % annually through 2015 or by 30% by 2015.
  • GREENHOUSE GASES: By reducing energy intensity by 3% annually or 30% by 2015, reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • RENEWABLE POWER: At least 50% of current renewable energy purchases must come from new renewable sources (in service after January 1, 1999).
  • BUILDING PERFORMANCE: Construct or renovate buildings in accordance with sustainability strategies, including resource conservation, reduction, and use; sitting; and indoor environmental quality.
  • ELECTRONICS MANAGEMENT: Annually, 95% of electronic products purchased must meet Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool standards where applicable; enable Energy Star® features on 100% of computers and monitors; and reuse, donate, sell, or recycle 100% of electronic products using environmentally sound management practices.

Guidelines

Executive Order 13423 (2007) and the Energy Policy Act have many energy-related requirements, including the following.

  • Reduce energy consumption by 3% annually or 30% by 2015 using a 2003 baseline.
  • Explore renewable energy opportunities on agency property.
  • At least half of the statutorily required renewable energy consumed (purchased) in fiscal year comes from new renewable sources.
  • Ensure Energy Star features are enabled on 100% of computers and monitors.
  • Conduct energy and water audits on at least 10% of facilities each year.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions attributed to facility energy use by 3% annually or 30% by 2015 related to 1990 emission levels.
  • Ensure at least 3 percent of energy purchases are from renewable energy sources by 2007; this figure increases to 7.5 percent by 2013.
  • Buildings will be designed to be 30 percent more efficient than current standards so long as they are life-cycle cost effective.
  • Apply sustainable design principles to new construction and renovation.

Other Resources

Facilities

Nationally, the Forest Service uses four main sources of energy for its facilities: electricity, natural gas, propane, and fuel oil. Energy use has two components - consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The amount of energy we use is important, as is the CO2 emitted as a result of that use. In 2006, the Forest Service spent roughly 15.5 million dollars to light, heat, and cool its facilities. That use generated an estimated 185,600 tons of CO2. And these figures almost certainly underestimate the actual energy use.

Our existing method for estimating our energy use is cost, but cost is an inconsistent indicator of actual use. Cost for natural gas and heating oil varied based on supply and demand, as well as regional availability. Using cost as the measure for consumption also fails to account for credit card purchases (e.g., for propane) and energy use in leased buildings.

The lag time between when energy bills are paid and when the energy is consumed is another potential inconsistency. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many bills for energy consumed in 205 were not paid until 2006. This underestimated energy consumption in 2005 and artificially inflated it for 2006.

Information Management

There are many resources that can help green your computers, phones, radios, and many other energy consuming products. Visit our Tools and Games to find resources to assist you in reducing your environmental footprint.

ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Departments of Energy. Its purpose is to help reduce energy costs and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

The following are standard USDA configuration computer setting requirements to conserve energy:

  • Remove graphical backgrounds and screensavers.
  • Set the power management system to shut the monitor off 15 minutes of inactivity.
  • Set the power management system to hibernate the system after 30 minutes of inactivity.

Other Resources: EPEAT

EPEAT is now required for all federal purchasing. The Federal Acquisition Regulations require federal agencies to purchase at least 95% EPEAT-registered products in all relevant electronic product categories.

EPEAT is a system to help purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebooks and monitors based on their environmental attributes. EPEAT also provides a clear and consistent set of performance criteria for the design of products, and provides an opportunity for manufacturers to secure market recognition for efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its products.

For more information visit http://www.epeat.net/

Other Resources: DOE

The Department of Energy's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex.

For more information visit http://www.energy.gov/

Letters From Leadership

Tools

Presentations

Wise Energy Comsumption - Wind Electricity Generators

Reports

Wise Energy Consumption - Solar Power Panels

FAQ's

Last Modified: 02/29/2012