The Federal Government Needs a Comprehensive Program To Curb Its Energy Use

EMD-80-11: Published: Dec 12, 1979. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 1979.

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In the face of the Nation's growing dependency on foreign oil imports and the undesirable economic consequences, and despite legislative and executive directives, a comprehensive energy conservation program has not yet been developed. The Federal Government has not made a sufficient commitment to curb Federal energy consumption and needs a new perspective for reducing its energy use. In assessing the current status of the Federal energy conservation program, Federal energy conservation efforts were discussed with Federal agencies, field locations were visited, and reports and studies were reviewed and analyzed.

It was found that the Department of Energy (DOE) has not developed energy conservation plans for buildings, as required by legislation and Executive Orders. It has not issued guidance for Federal agencies to use in developing overall energy conservation plans. Because it does not have sufficient resources and organizational status, the DOE Federal Energy Management Program is not capable of managing a comprehensive program. Most energy use reductions have resulted from quick-fix changes that occurred between 1973 and 1974. According to Federal energy consumption data, the Government's energy use has increased in 2 of the last 3 years. Federal consumption of gasoline has increased 18 percent since 1974, while the use of coal, which is plentiful, has decreased 27 percent. DOE has taken the position that no comprehensive program is needed, and it does not intend to take any action to establish such a program.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we determine what steps the Congress has taken, we will provide updated information.

    Matter: Congress should require under FEMP purview the development and implementation of specific plans and programs.

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we determine what steps the Congress has taken, we will provide updated information.

    Matter: Congress should provide to DOE central funding and control over energy conservation funds, and earmark and restrict all funds provided for energy conservation so they cannot be used for other purposes.

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we determine what steps the Congress has taken, we will provide updated information.

    Matter: Congress should require the President to complete action on the specific plans and programs within 18 months after legislation is enacted and submit 6-month progress reports to Congress following the date of the legislation. The President should also be required to submit reports each fiscal year Congress on the overall implementation and effectiveness of FEMP and include suggestions or recommendations for congressional consideration to strengthen and improve the program.

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we determine what steps the Congress has taken, we will provide updated information.

    Matter: Congress should require the President to develop and implement through DOE an aggressive and comprehensive Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and clearly define the roles, authority and responsibilities that DOE and other executive branch agencies are to fulfill in the program.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The President should not wait for congressional actions specified in this report. He should use his existing Presidential authority to develop and issue a new Executive order which incorporates a Federal energy management policy statement and provides for an aggressive and comprehensive FEMP. Upon enactment of new legislation by Congress, the President should revise the Executive order as appropriate for legislative compliance.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should assist the President in the effort to establish an aggressive and comprehensive program by establishing within DOE a high-ranking office, reporting directly to the Under Secretary, which will be solely responsible for FEMP.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should assist the President in the effort to establish an aggressive and comprehensive program by providing adequate funding and personnel resources to the new office.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should assist the President in the effort to establish an aggressive and comprehensive program by assigning to the new office, broad responsibility for all aspects of Federal sector energy conservation plans and programs currently assigned to DOE, including the integration of solar and cogeneration applications with buildings conservation plans.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should assist the President in the effort to establish an aggressive and comprehensive program by directing that the new office develop and submit for his approval a management plan for carrying out its assigned responsibilities and, subsequent to his approval, monthly reports on the status and progress of carrying out the plan.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should assist the President in the effort to establish an aggressive and comprehensive program by directing appropriate DOE officials to implement expeditiously adequate energy conservation plans and guidelines as intended under energy legislation and Executive orders. Buildings plans should thoroughly address such areas as leased space, and building operations and maintenance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

 

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