Browsing: Energy management

So what about those White House solar panels?

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Last year Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced with much fanfare at a green government symposium that the White House will have solar panels on it – by the end of spring no less. Well, that day has come and gone. But instead of solar panels, there is just a June 20 statement on the Energy Department’s blog that says the following before highlighting areas of success: The Energy Department remains on the path to complete the White House solar demonstration project, in keeping with our commitment, and we look forward to sharing more information — including additional details on the…

Pentagon may have overpaid fuel contractor by $200 million

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The Defense Department Inspector General released a summary of a recent investigation into contracts awarded to the International Oil Trading Company (IOTC), which provides fuel to the military in Iraq by using supply routes through Jordan. According to the report, contract officers at the Defense logistics Agency, which handles energy/fuel procurement for DOD, did not have accurate data to compare against other contracts and ended up overpaying. By a lot. With total contracts valued at $2.7 billion, it added up. According to the report: “We calculate that DLA Energy paid IOTC about $160 to $204 million (or 6 to 7…

Update: WUSA's report on federal building lights misses the mark

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So some of you readers might have seen a WUSA report in the D.C. area that took aim at federal workers leaving the lights on. Well, Andrea McCarren had noted that in many federal office buildings, the lights were being left on at night, which costs taxpayer dollars. So she filed a report on how much each agency pays in energy costs for each month and came away with some striking figures. The video package seems to have everything: Taxpayer dollars being wasted, federal employees behaving badly and federal agencies paying through the nose for electricity because they leave their…

Interior announces largest solar project on public lands

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The White House continues to push renewable energy projects during National Energy Awareness month this October. The latest is from the Interior Department, which has announced what they call the largest solar energy project on public lands. From Ken Salazar, Interior Secretary The Tessera Solar Imperial Valley Solar Project and the Chevron Energy Solutions Lucerne Valley Solar Project will both be built in the California desert.  Together, the projects could produce up to 754 megawatts of renewable energy, power 226,000 – 566,000 American homes, and support almost 1,000 new jobs. At the Department of the Interior, we have a special…

Don't forget to power down

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If all 16,000+ participants follow through with their pledge tonight, Power IT Down Day 2010 should be a huge success. The initiative has nearly 500 supporters on Facebook, more than 100 Twitter followers and thousands who have signed up directly on the site. The nationwide event encourages government and the private sector to shut down their computers, printers, monitors and other devices at the end of the work day to save energy. I was told that about two-thirds of those who have registered are from government agencies. Citrix, HP, Intel and GTSI are sponsoring the initiative and will make a…

Sound off on carbon footprint accounting

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My cover story in this week’s Federal Times details the federal government’s new goal to cut indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent during the next decade. The bulk of the story explains the impact on federal workers — more telecommuting, fewer business trips out of state, increased recycling and energy conservation efforts. But as I mention in the article, this is just part of a much larger undertaking to measure and shrink the government’s entire carbon footprint, including the energy used in federal facilities and vehicles. Under an October executive order from President Obama, all agencies must undertake their…

GSA picks chief greening officer

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The General Services Administration has tapped an industry expert to serve in the newly created career position of chief greening officer. Eleni Reed, director of sustainability strategies at property management firm Cushman and Wakefield, will oversee green building programs and strategies across GSA’s inventory of 9,600 owned and leased facilities, the agency announced Tuesday. While at Cushman and Wakefield, Reed led the effort to enhance the environmental performance of the firm’s portfolio of U.S.-managed properties. She played a key role in develping a memorandum of understanding between the firm and the Environmental Protection Agency aimed at enhancing energy efficiency, cutting water use…

OK, we get it, you're going green

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So yesterday at the GSA Expo, Administrator Martha Johnson was walking around in a black and white outfit, if I remember correctly. But by the time she arrived at the Coalition for Government Procurement dinner to announce GSA’s new goal of eliminating the government’s carbon footprint (good luck with that, by the way), she had changed into — you guessed it — a green jacket. Johnson’s speech received what sounded like polite applause last night, from a crowd made up mostly of vendor representatives. And CGP president Larry Allen was fairly critical of Johnson today, even after he’d had a…

USDA sustainability chief targets data centers

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Agencies’ plans for meeting the green government mandates outlined in President Obama’s October executive order aren’t due until June 2, but the Agriculture Department’s chief sustainability officer already has identified one of her top priorities: cutting energy consumption in data centers. Robin Heard, a lifelong conservationist who joined Agriculture in 1976, said she had no idea how much energy is consumed by data centers until she took on her new role as the department’s deputy assistant secretary for administration about a year ago. Speaking Tuesday on the opening day of the GSA Expo in Orlando, Heard said she wants to consolidate the…

GSA hits another Recovery Act milestone

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The General Services Administration said today that it’s awarded $4 billion in contracts for hundreds of building construction and renovation projects through the Recovery Act. More than 500 companies across the country have received contracts for the 391 projects GSA has funded so far since the Recovery Act was passed in February 2009. GSA overall received $5.5 billion in stimulus funds for construction projects, including $4 billion to improve the energy efficiency of existing federal buildings. Vice President Joe Biden praised GSA for stretching its Recovery Act dollars further than originally planned. Due to the slumping economy, bids came in lower than anticipated,…

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