A Look Back: Executive Order on Federal Energy Management
This is the fifith and final in a series of posts about the Administration's strong and successful efforts on energy efficiency. The last post in this series focused on the Green Button Initiative.
This blog series is dedicated to recognizing the energy efficiency successes of the current Administration, and this final "look back" considers the impact of President Obama's executive order for agencies to establish sustainability plans.
Considering the U.S. government is the largest energy user in the country, the President fully understands the importance of leading by example. The federal government occupies nearly 500,000 buildings and operates more than 600,000 vehicles — providing the Administration with a huge opportunity to cut down on waste, saving both energy and taxpayer dollars. In October 2009, Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance. This order directed federal agencies to establish sustainability plans that will help them reduce their carbon pollution, save energy and water, and achieve other energy and environmental goals.
Before the order was established, agencies were already releasing annual Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Sustainability and Energy scorcards to help identify and target opportunities to save energy and reach waste reduction targets. In order to align with the goals of the Executive Order, OMB combined scorecard metrics into a single Sustainability/Energy scorecard to streamline the evaluation process.
Because of historic investments in energy efficiency from 2009 to 2013, the government was estimated in 2013 to consume twenty percent less energy in buildings than it would have otherwise — saving taxpayers billions of dollars, and resulting in significant environmental benefits. The Administration is taking important steps and is leading by example in these efforts to cut energy use in its own buildings and operations.
The successes we've covered in this blog series reiterate how energy efficiency benefits everyone. There is still much work to be accomplished, and maximum energy savings can only be achieved through continued and collaborative efforts of all economic sectors, levels of government and political parties.