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Testimony: 

Before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

For Release on Delivery Expected at 10:00 a.m. EDT: 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008: 

Architect Of The Capitol: 

Progress in Improving Energy Efficiency and Options for Decreasing 
Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 

Statement of Terrell G. Dorn, Director: 

Physical Infrastructure Issues: 

Architect of the Capitol: 

GAO-08-917T: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-08-917T, a testimony to the Committee on Rules and 
Administration, U.S. Senate. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

In April 2007, GAO reported that 96 percent of the greenhouse gas 
emissions from the Capitol Hill Complex facilities—managed by the 
Architect of the Capitol (AOC)—resulted from electricity use throughout 
the complex and combustion of fossil fuels in the Capitol Power Plant. 
The report concluded that AOC and other legislative branch agencies 
could benefit from conducting energy audits to identify projects that 
would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. GAO also recommended that AOC 
and the other agencies establish a schedule for conducting these audits 
and implement selected projects as part of an overall plan that 
considers cost-effectiveness, the extent to which the projects reduce 
emissions, and funding options. AOC and the other agencies agreed with 
our recommendations. 

This statement focuses on (1) the status of AOC’s efforts to implement 
the recommendations in our April 2007 report and (2) opportunities for 
the Senate to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and associated 
environmental impacts. The statement is based on GAO’s prior work, 
analysis of AOC documents, and discussions with AOC management. 

What GAO Found: 

AOC has made some progress toward implementing the recommendations in 
GAO’s April 2007 report, but opportunities remain. For example, AOC has 
prioritized a list of Capitol Hill buildings that need energy audits 
but has not developed a schedule for conducting the audits that 
explains the prioritization scheme or provides information on the 
anticipated costs. AOC prioritized the order of energy audits based on 
each building’s energy use and has begun conducting the first of the 
audits. In addition, AOC has contracted with a private firm to conduct 
preliminary audits of the Senate office buildings that could lead to 
more targeted audits and eventually identify cost-effective projects 
that would decrease energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions. We 
believe that developing a more detailed schedule for future audits that 
includes an explanation of the prioritization scheme and cost estimates 
would assist the Congress in its appropriations decisions and 
facilitate the completion of additional audits. With respect to our 
recommendation that AOC implement selected projects as part of an 
overall plan to reduce emissions, AOC has implemented projects to 
reduce energy use and related emissions, but the projects were not 
identified through the processes we recommended. AOC could more fully 
respond to our recommendation by first completing the energy audits and 
then evaluating the cost-effectiveness and relative merits of projects 
that could further decrease the demand for energy. 

The Senate’s options for decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions and 
related environmental impacts associated with its operations fall into 
three main categories—implementing projects to decrease the demand for 
electricity and steam derived from fossil fuels, adjusting the Capitol 
Power Plant’s fuel mix, and purchasing carbon offsets or renewable 
electricity from external providers. Of these options, efforts to 
decrease the demand for energy could lead to recurring cost savings 
through reductions in energy expenditures while the other options may 
prove less cost-effective and involve recurring expenses. However, a 
key challenge in identifying energy-saving opportunities results from 
limited data on the baseline level of energy use within each Senate 
building. Specifically, the meters for steam and chilled water no 
longer function or do not provide reliable data. In addition, the 
buildings are not equipped with submeters for electricity that, if 
installed, could enhance efforts to identify sections of the buildings 
that consume relatively high levels of energy. AOC has purchased but 
not installed new chilled water meters, is evaluating options for 
acquiring new steam meters, and plans to install submeters by February 
2009. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
[http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-08-917T]. For more information, 
contact Terrell G. Dorn at (202) 512-6923 or dornt@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Madam Chairman and Members of the Committee: 

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this hearing to discuss 
opportunities for enhancing energy efficiency and decreasing the carbon 
footprint of the Capitol Hill Complex. In April 2007, we reported that 
96 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from the Capitol Hill 
Complex resulted from purchased electricity (59 percent) and the 
combustion of fossil fuels in the Capitol Power Plant (37 
percent).[Footnote 1] The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) has 
jurisdiction over the day-to-day operations of facilities located in 
the complex. Because the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions from 
the Capitol Hill Complex stem from energy use, our April 2007 report 
recommended that AOC and other legislative branch agencies conduct 
energy audits to identify projects that would reduce greenhouse gas 
emissions. We also recommended that AOC and other legislative branch 
agencies establish a schedule for conducting these audits and implement 
selected projects as part of an overall plan that considers the cost- 
effectiveness of the projects, the extent to which they reduce 
emissions, and options for funding them. AOC and the other agencies 
agreed with our recommendations. 

In addition to the work we did for our April 2007 report, we analyzed 
the potential costs of fuel-switching from coal to natural gas at the 
Capitol Power Plant, as directed by the Chief Administrative Officer of 
the House of Representatives in the Green the Capitol 
Initiative.[Footnote 2] Specific actions outlined in the initiative 
included purchasing electricity generated by renewable sources, 
purchasing carbon offsets, and directing AOC to adjust the fuel mix of 
the Capitol Power Plant so that the portion of its output consumed by 
the House is derived entirely from natural gas.[Footnote 3] In May 
2008, we recommended that, before adjusting the plant's fuel mix beyond 
the level directed by the initiative, AOC consult with its oversight 
committees in the Congress and evaluate the economic and environmental 
tradeoffs associated with the use of each fuel at the plant. 

My statement today will focus on (1) the status of AOC's efforts to 
implement the recommendations in our April 2007 report and, (2) 
opportunities for the Senate to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, 
including the cost-effectiveness of decreasing demand for energy 
relative to other options such as fuel switching at the Capitol Power 
Plant or purchasing renewable electricity and carbon offsets. Today's 
remarks are based on our prior work, analysis of documents provided by 
AOC on its progress in responding to recommendations in our April 2007 
report, and related discussions with AOC management. 

Summary: 

The Architect of the Capitol has made some progress toward implementing 
the recommendations in our April 2007 report but more opportunities 
remain. For example, AOC has prioritized a list of Capitol Hill 
buildings that need energy audits but has not developed a schedule for 
conducting the audits that explains the prioritization scheme or 
provides information on the anticipated costs. With respect to energy 
audits, AOC is conducting an energy audit of the U.S. Capitol Police 
Buildings and Grounds and plans to use $400,000 of fiscal year 2008 
funds for energy audits of the Capitol Building and the Ford House 
Office Building. AOC has also requested $1.4 million for additional 
energy audits in its fiscal year 2009 budget request. In addition, AOC 
has contracted with a private firm to conduct preliminary audits of the 
Senate Office Buildings that could lead to more targeted audits and 
eventually identify cost-effective projects that would decrease energy 
use and related greenhouse gas emissions. To more fully implement this 
recommendation, AOC would need to enhance its prioritized list of 
audits by providing a more detailed schedule for completing the audits. 
AOC also has an opportunity to more fully address our recommendation 
that it implement selected projects as part of an overall plan to 
reduce emissions that considers cost-effectiveness, the extent to which 
the projects reduce emissions, and funding options. Specifically, AOC 
has implemented numerous energy efficiency projects throughout the 
Capitol Complex but has not identified these projects through the 
process we recommended of first conducting energy audits and then 
implementing selected projects based on cost-effectiveness and other 
considerations. Projects underway or completed include upgrading 
lighting systems, replacing steam system components, conducting 
education and outreach, purchasing energy-efficient equipment and 
appliances, and installing new windows in the Ford House Office 
Building. 

The Senate's options for decreasing Capitol Hill greenhouse gas 
emissions and related environmental impacts associated with its 
operations fall into three main categories--(1) implementing projects 
to decrease the demand for electricity and steam, (2) adjusting the 
Capitol Power Plant's fuel mix, and (3) purchasing carbon offsets or 
renewable electricity from external providers. Of these options, 
efforts to decrease the demand for energy could lead to a reduction in 
the Capitol Hill Complex carbon footprint and recurring cost savings 
through reductions in energy expenditures. On the other hand, the other 
options may involve recurring expenses which may be large enough to 
render them less cost-effective. If natural gas prices remain 
relatively high, fuel switching may prove particularly costly. As we 
reported in April 2007, a strategy for reducing emissions could include 
energy audits that identify and evaluate energy-efficiency and 
renewable-energy projects, and the evaluation of other projects that 
may fall outside the scope of energy audits, such as purchasing energy- 
efficient appliances and computers. Importantly, these steps could 
assist the Senate in addressing the largest sources of emissions--the 
consumption of purchased electricity and fossil fuel combustion in the 
Capitol Power Plant. However, a key challenge in identifying energy- 
saving projects for the Senate buildings results from limited data on 
the baseline level of energy use within each Senate building. 
Specifically, the Senate Office Buildings currently have meters 
provided by the local utility to track electricity use in each 
building, but the AOC-owned meters that track the consumption of steam 
and chilled water either no longer work or do not provide reliable 
data. In addition, the Senate buildings are not equipped with submeters 
for electricity that, if installed, could enhance efforts to identify 
sections of the buildings that consume relatively high levels of 
energy. AOC has purchased but not installed new chilled water meters, 
is evaluating options for acquiring new steam meters, and plans to 
install submeters by February 2009. In addition to decreasing the 
demand for energy, the Senate could require AOC to adjust the fuel mix 
at the Capitol Power Plant to rely more heavily on natural gas, which 
produces about half as much carbon dioxide as coal when burned but also 
costs about four times as much for a comparable amount of energy input. 
As we estimated in May 2008, meeting the House of Representative's fuel-
switching requirement would cost between $1.0 and $1.8 million in 
fiscal year 2008 and between $4.7 and $8.3 million over a five-year 
period. While we have not analyzed the potential costs of fuel 
switching at the Capitol Power Plant to meet the needs of the Senate, 
our estimates for the House may provide some indication of the 
potential costs of such a directive. Additionally, fuel-switching 
requirements could impose a recurring cost on AOC and may prove less 
cost-effective than implementing projects that decrease the demand for 
energy. Finally, the Senate could pay for electricity derived from 
renewable sources or purchase carbon offsets. Such steps could 
encourage emissions reductions outside of the Capitol Complex but would 
also impose a recurring cost on the Senate and may be less cost 
effective than decreasing the demand for energy. 

Background: 

Energy audits typically identify information on projects that could 
address the consumption of fossil fuel and electricity as well as 
projects that could reduce emissions from other sources, such as leaks 
in refrigeration equipment. Energy audits also include information on 
the cost-effectiveness of projects and on the extent to which the 
projects could reduce emissions. This information can then be used to 
evaluate and select projects. The audits generally fall into three 
categories--preliminary, targeted, and comprehensive--and are 
distinguished by the level of detail and analysis required. Preliminary 
audits are the least detailed and provide quick evaluations to 
determine a project's potential. These audits typically do not provide 
sufficiently detailed information to justify investments but may prove 
useful in identifying opportunities for more detailed evaluations. 
Targeted audits are detailed analyses of specific systems, such as 
lighting. Comprehensive audits are detailed analyses of all major 
energy-using systems. Both targeted and comprehensive audits provide 
sufficiently detailed information to justify investing in projects. 

Energy-saving projects that fall outside the scope of energy audits 
include efforts to enhance outreach and education efforts to curtail 
energy use by building occupants and purchasing high-efficiency 
appliances. Outreach and education efforts include providing 
information on how employees can conserve energy, such as AOC's "how-to 
guides" that detail cost-effective methods to save energy in the 
workplace. Efforts to curtail energy use include purchasing energy- 
efficient computer equipment and appliances, using information 
available from the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star 
program or the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). Energy Star- 
qualified and FEMP-designated products meet energy-efficiency 
guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the 
Department of Energy and, in general, represent the top 30 percent most 
energy-efficient products in their class of products. These products 
cover a wide range of categories, including appliances and office 
equipment. According to the Energy Star program, office products that 
have earned the Energy Star rating use about half as much electricity 
as standard equipment and generally cost the same as equipment that is 
not Energy Star qualified. 

AOC Has Made Some Progress toward Implementing GAO's Recommendations on 
Energy Audits and Implementing Projects that Decrease Emissions: 

AOC has made some progress toward implementing the two recommendations 
in our April 2007 report. First, AOC has taken steps to address our 
recommendation that it develop a schedule for routinely conducting 
energy audits by developing a prioritized list of buildings for which 
it plans to conduct comprehensive energy audits (see App. 1). 
Specifically, AOC is currently undertaking a comprehensive energy audit 
of the U.S. Capitol Police Buildings and Grounds and obtained a draft 
submission in May 2008 from the private contractor performing the 
audit. AOC also plans to use $400,000 of fiscal year 2008 funds to 
perform comprehensive energy audits of the Capitol Building and the 
Ford House Office Building, and says it will direct any remaining 
fiscal year 2008 funds to an audit of the Hart Senate Office 
Building.[Footnote 4] Additionally, AOC has contracted with a private 
firm to conduct a preliminary energy audit of the Senate Office 
Buildings that could prove useful in identifying opportunities for more 
comprehensive and targeted evaluations. 

AOC officials said that they developed the prioritized list of 
buildings to audit by comparing the amount of energy used per square 
foot of space in each building (referred to as energy intensity) and 
then placing the buildings that use relatively higher levels of energy 
at the top of the list. However, AOC's prioritized list does not 
provide information on the energy intensity of each building, an 
explanation of its prioritization scheme, or cost estimates. 
Furthermore, AOC has not developed a schedule for routinely conducting 
audits as we recommended in our April 2007 report. AOC officials said 
that they cannot complete a more comprehensive schedule because of 
uncertainty about the extent to which AOC will receive future 
appropriations to conduct the audits. We believe that developing a more 
detailed schedule for future audits along with an explanation of its 
prioritization scheme and cost estimates would assist the Congress in 
its appropriations decisions and facilitate the completion of 
additional audits. 

Second, AOC can do more to fully address the second recommendation in 
our April 2007 report that it implement selected projects as part of an 
overall plan to reduce emissions that considers cost-effectiveness, the 
extent to which the projects reduce emissions, and funding options. In 
recent years, AOC has undertaken numerous projects throughout the 
Capitol Hill Complex to reduce energy use and related emissions, but 
these projects were not identified through the process we recommended. 
Projects completed or underway include upgrading lighting systems, 
conducting education and outreach, purchasing energy-efficient 
equipment and appliances, and installing new windows in the Ford 
building. Examples of projects in Senate office buildings include 
upgrading the lighting in 11 offices with daylight and occupancy 
sensors, installing energy efficiency ceiling tiles in the Hart 
building, and replacing steam system components. According to AOC, 
these efforts have already decreased the energy intensity throughout 
the Capitol Hill Complex. Specifically, AOC said that it decreased its 
energy intensity--the amount of energy used per square foot of space 
within a facility--by 6.5 percent in fiscal year 2006 and 6.7 percent 
in fiscal year 2007. 

As AOC moves forward with identifying and selecting projects that could 
decrease energy use and related emissions, it could further respond to 
our recommendation by developing a plan that identifies the potential 
benefits and costs of each option based on the results of energy 
audits. Such a plan could build on AOC's existing Sustainability 
Framework Plan and its Comprehensive Emissions Reduction Plan for the 
Capitol Complex, which identify measures that could lead to 
improvements in energy efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas 
emissions. Complementing these plans with information on projects 
identified through energy audits would further assist AOC in using the 
resources devoted to energy efficiency enhancements as effectively as 
possible. 

Efforts to Further Reduce Energy Consumption May Prove More Cost- 
Effective Than Other Measures in Decreasing Emissions: 

The Senate has three primary options for decreasing greenhouse gas 
emissions and related environmental impacts associated with its 
operations. These include (1) implementing additional projects to 
decrease the demand for electricity and steam derived from fossil fuel; 
(2) adjusting the Capitol Power Plant's fuel mix to rely more heavily 
on natural gas, which produces smaller quantities of greenhouse gas 
emissions for each unit of energy input than the coal and oil also 
burned in the plant; and (3) purchasing renewable electricity or carbon 
offsets from external providers. Each option involves economic and 
environmental tradeoffs and the first option is likely to be the most 
cost-effective because the projects could lead to recurring cost 
savings through reductions in energy expenditures. 

Regarding the first option, as we reported in April 2007, conducting 
energy audits would assist AOC in addressing the largest sources of 
emissions because the audits would help identify cost-effective energy- 
efficiency projects. In general, energy projects are deemed cost- 
effective if it is determined through an energy audit that they will 
generate sufficient savings to pay for their capital costs. These 
projects may require up-front capital investments that the Senate could 
finance through direct appropriations or contracts with utility or 
energy service companies, under which the company initially pays for 
the work and the Senate later repays the company with the resulting 
savings. Until AOC exhausts its opportunities for identifying energy- 
efficiency projects that will pay for themselves over a reasonable time 
horizon, this option is likely to be more cost-effective than the 
second two options, both of which would involve recurring expenditures. 

In pursuing energy audits, AOC faces a significant challenge collecting 
reliable data on the baseline level of energy use within each Senate 
office building. Such data would help identify inefficient systems and 
provide a baseline against which AOC could measure potential or actual 
energy-efficiency improvements. First, while AOC has meters that track 
electricity use in each building, the meters that track the steam and 
chilled water used by each building no longer work or provide 
unreliable data. AOC officials said that they have purchased but not 
installed new meters to track the use of chilled water and are 
evaluating options for acquiring new steam meters. Installing these 
meters and collecting reliable data would enhance any efforts to 
identify potential energy saving measures. Second, AOC does not have 
submeters within each building to track the electricity use within 
different sections of each building. Such submetering would further 
assist in targeting aspects of the Senate buildings' operations that 
consume relatively high quantities of energy. AOC said that it plans to 
install submeters for electricity, chilled water, and steam by February 
2009. 

A second option for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions would involve 
directing AOC to further adjust the fuel mix at the Capitol Power Plant 
to rely more heavily on the combustion of natural gas in generating 
steam for space heating. The plant currently produces steam using a 
combination of seven boilers--two that primarily burn coal, but could 
also burn natural gas, and five boilers that burn fuel oil or natural 
gas. The total capacity of these boilers is over 40 percent higher than 
the maximum capacity required at any given time, and the plant has the 
flexibility to switch among the three fuels or burn a combination of 
fuels. The percentage of energy input from each fuel has varied from 
year to year, with an average fuel mix of 43 percent natural gas, 47 
percent coal, and 10 percent fuel oil between 2001 and 2007. 

In June 2007, the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of 
Representatives released the Green the Capitol Initiative, which 
directed AOC to operate the plant with natural gas instead of coal to 
meet the needs of the House. The House Appropriations Committee 
subsequently directed GAO to determine the expected increase in natural 
gas use for House operations and the associated costs at the power 
plant that would result from the initiative. In May 2008, we reported 
that the fuel-switching directive should lead to a 38 percent increase 
in natural gas use over the average annual quantity consumed between 
2001 and 2007. We also estimated that the fuel switching should cost 
about $1.4 million in fiscal year 2008 and could range from between 
$1.0 and $1.8 million depending on actual fuel costs, among other 
factors.[Footnote 5] We also estimated that the costs would range from 
between $4.7 million and $8.3 million over the 2008 through 2012 
period, depending on fuel prices, the plant's output, and other 
factors. While we have not analyzed the potential costs of fuel 
switching at the Capitol Power Plant to meet the needs of the Senate, 
our estimates for the House may provide some indication of the 
potential costs of such a directive. Additionally, AOC officials said 
that further directives to increase its reliance on natural gas in the 
plant could require equipment upgrades and related capital 
expenditures. 

Our May 2008 report also found that decreasing the plant's reliance on 
coal could decrease greenhouse gas emissions by about 9,970 metric tons 
per year at an average cost of $139 per ton and could yield other 
environmental and health benefits by decreasing emissions of nitrogen 
oxides, particulate matter, and pollutants that cause acid rain. While 
fuel switching could decrease emissions of carbon dioxide and other 
harmful substances, it would also impose recurring costs because 
natural gas costs about four times as much as coal for an equal amount 
of energy input. Thus, fuel switching may prove less cost-effective 
than decreasing the demand for energy. 

Finally, a third option for the Senate to decrease greenhouse gas 
emissions and related environmental impacts includes purchasing 
electricity that is derived from renewable sources and paying external 
parties for carbon offsets. Neither of these activities would involve 
modifications to the Capitol Complex or its operations but could 
nonetheless lead to offsite reductions in emissions and related 
environmental impacts. Both options, if sustained, would result in 
recurring costs that should be considered in the context of other 
options for decreasing emissions that may prove more cost-effective. 

Madam Chairman, this completes my prepared statement. I would be 
pleased to answer any questions that you or Members of the Committee 
may have. 

For further information about this testimony, please contact Terrell 
Dorn at (202) 512-6923. Other key contributors to this testimony 
include Daniel Cain, Janice Ceperich, Elizabeth R. Eisenstadt, Michael 
Hix, Frank Rusco, and Sara Vermillion. 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Prioritized List of Buildings for Comprehensive Energy 
Audits: 

Fiscal Year: 2008; 
Facility: Capitol Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2008; 
Facility: Rayburn House Office Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2008; 
Facility: Hart Senate Office Building[A]. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: Russell Senate Office Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: Dirksen Senate Office Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: Senate Underground Garage. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: Senate Employees Child Care Center. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: Webster Hall Page Dormitory. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: Senate Furniture Warehouse. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: Robert A. Taft Memorial. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: CPP Boiler Plant. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: CPP West Refrigeration Plant. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: CPP Administration Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: CPP Generator Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: CPP East Refrigeration Plant. 

Fiscal Year: 2009; 
Facility: CPP Storage (Butler) Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2010; 
Facility: Ford House Office Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2010; 
Facility: Longworth House Office Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2010; 
Facility: East and West Underground Garages. 

Fiscal Year: 2010; 
Facility: House Page Dormitory. 

Fiscal Year: 2010; 
Facility: Cannon House Office Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2011; 
Facility: Thomas Jefferson Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2011; 
Facility: James Madison Memorial Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2011; 
Facility: LOC Special Facilities Center. 

Fiscal Year: 2011; 
Facility: Book Storage Modules. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: Alternate Computer Facility. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: U.S. Capitol Police Headquarters. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: 67 K Street. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: Canine Facility. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: Capitol Police Courier Acceptance Site. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: John Adams Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: BG Conservatory. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: BG Administration Building. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: BG Production Facility (Greenhouse). 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: Construction Management Division. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: CG Vehicle Maintenance Garage. 

Fiscal Year: 2012; 
Facility: Supreme Court Building. 

Source: AOC. 

[A] Hart is third in order for fiscal year 2008, if funding permits. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] GAO, Legislative Branch: Energy Audits Are Key to Strategy for 
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, GAO-07-516 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 
25, 2007). Major greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, 
nitrous oxide, and certain synthetic gases including hydrofluorocarbons 
emitted from refrigerants. Buildings within the Capitol Complex include 
the Senate Office buildings (Dirksen, Hart, and Russell), House Office 
Buildings (Cannon, Longworth, and Rayburn), U.S. Capitol Building and 
Grounds, the Capitol Power Plant, Library of Congress Buildings and 
Grounds, U.S. Capitol Police Buildings, and the U.S. Botanic Garden. 
The Capitol Power Plant provides steam and chilled water for heating 
and cooling the Capitol building and 23 surrounding facilities. 

[2] GAO, Economic and Other Implications of Switching from Coal to 
Natural Gas at the Capitol Power Plant and at Electricity-Generating 
Units Nationwide, GAO-08-601R (Washington, D.C.: May 1, 2008). 

[3] According to the Department of Energy's Energy Information 
Administration, for a comparable amount of energy input, the amount of 
carbon dioxide emitted from burning natural gas is about half that 
emitted from burning coal. Carbon offsets are a measurable reduction in 
greenhouse gas emissions from a project in one location that is used to 
compensate for emissions occurring elsewhere. 

[4] AOC completed energy audits of the Capitol Building in 2001, and of 
the Rayburn and James Madison Buildings in May 2005. AOC has requested 
$1.4 million for energy audits in its fiscal year 2009 budget request. 

[5] All of our cost estimates are in constant 2006 dollars. 


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