Overview of Selected Civilian Agencies' Progress in Achieving Energy Conservation

RCED-84-200: Published: Sep 21, 1984. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 1984.


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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reported on the efforts of 10 civilian agencies to meet established energy conservation goals to: (1) reduce overall energy use in existing buildings by 20 percent by 1985; (2) make all cost-effective retrofits to existing buildings by 1990; (3) make new buildings 45 percent more efficient than buildings existing in 1975; and (4) reduce petroleum use by 30 percent by 1985.

GAO found that 8 of the agencies have already met the petroleum use goal and 9 have reduced energy use in existing buildings by at least 10 percent. Agencies' retrofit progress is difficult to determine due to their tendency to undertake the most cost-effective projects first and the fact that all retrofits to one building might not be done in a single year. At the time of the review, only two agencies had energy use data for new buildings, neither of which achieved the 45-percent goal. Regarding agency support for conservation programs, GAO found that organizational placement of the program varied among the agencies reviewed, 7 agencies had energy conservation staff reductions since 1981, 4 agencies experienced increases in funding, and 4 had funding decreases. Finally, GAO noted that there is little verification of energy conservation data by either the agencies or the Department of Energy.

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