Energy:

Energy-Efficient and Cost-Effective Equipment Should Be Installed in New Government Housing

EMD-81-93: Published: Sep 16, 1981. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 1981.

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GAO evaluated the efforts being made and the actions that could be taken to make Government housing more energy efficient.

GAO believes that energy consumption could be substantially reduced in new housing if energy-efficient equipment were installed in Government owned, subsidized, and insured housing. Although Federal agencies have taken actions to conserve energy by reducing the heating and cooling loss through housing programs, most of the actions do not deal with the efficiency of furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters. Normal market forces, in themselves, do not encourage the installation of the most energy-efficient and cost-effective equipment. The developer of such housing, rather than the ultimate homeowner, normally selects the heating and cooling equipment to be installed. Developers are primarily concerned with installing equipment that adequately performs the required functions at the least cost. The initial higher price of energy-efficient equipment generally results in selecting the cheaper, less efficient equipment. However, in many cases, installation of relatively inefficient equipment results in higher costs for the home buyer. Where use is sufficient, the higher costs of owning and operating readily available energy-efficient equipment is less. The installation of such equipment frequently reduces the homeowner's monthly combined outlays for house payments and utility bills.

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 Secretaries of Defense and Housing and Urban Development, and the Administrator of Farmers Home should continue and expand their energy conservation efforts by administratively requiring the installation of high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment in housing that they either own or subsidize. The level of equipment efficiency to be required should be determined in cooperation and coordination with the Department of Energy.

    Agency Affected: Veterans Administration

  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 Secretaries of Defense and Housing and Urban Development, and the Administrator of Farmers Home should continue and expand their energy conservation efforts by administratively requiring the installation of high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment in housing that they either own or subsidize. The level of equipment efficiency to be required should be determined in cooperation and coordination with the Department of Energy.

    Agency Affected: Veterans Administration

  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 Housing and Urban Development and the Administrator of Veterans Affairs should promote, through their contacts with builders and buyers, the benefits and encourage the installation of high energy-efficiency equipment.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  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 Housing and Urban Development and the Administrator of Veterans Affairs should promote, through their contacts with builders and buyers, the benefits and encourage the installation of high energy-efficiency equipment.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  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 Secretaries of Defense and Housing and Urban Development, and the Administrator of Farmers Home should continue and expand their energy conservation efforts by administratively requiring the installation of high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment in housing that they either own or subsidize. The level of equipment efficiency to be required should be determined in cooperation and coordination with the Department of Energy.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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