Federal Agencies Can Do More to Promote Energy Conservation by Government Contractors

EMD-77-62: Published: Sep 30, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1977.

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It has been estimated that from 4 percent to 7 percent of energy consumed in the United States is in support of Government's purchases of goods and services. Energy conservation programs were reviewed at 20 Government contractors' plants to evaluate their effectiveness and to assess efforts of Federal agencies in helping to establish viable programs.

All contractors reviewed were taking some conservation measures, but few had viable energy management programs. Most companies were reluctant to invest in adequate staff or equipment that did not recover costs in a short time. Federal agencies did not supply adequate leadership as evidenced by the following: (1) energy conservation information was not effectively disseminated to contractors; (2) lighting level guidelines were not generally used or interpreted consistently; and (3) improvements were needed in the Department of Defense's energy management program. Although there was agreement on the need for further conservation, several contractors disagreed on amounts of energy that could be conserved. The National Energy Plan proposal to give tax credit to industry for investing in conservation measures is desirable. The new Department of Energy should help bring together fragmented programs.

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