The federal government is the nation's single largest energy consumer, spending approximately $17 billion in fiscal year 2007. A number of statutes and executive orders have established and revised goals directing agencies to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions--such as carbon dioxide, which results from combustion of fossil fuels and natural processes, among other things--and increase renewable energy use. GAO was asked to determine the extent to which (1) federal agencies met energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission, and renewable energy goals in fiscal year 2007; (2) federal agencies have made progress in each of these areas in the recent past; and (3) six selected agencies are poised to meet energy goals into the future. For this review, GAO, among other things, conducted site visits for six agencies and reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) annual reports to Congress on federal energy management.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Energy||The Secretary of Energy should, in conjunction with the Federal Environmental Executive and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, re-evaluate the current measure for greenhouse gas emissions and establish one that more accurately reflects agencies' performance in reducing these emissions to help determine whether agencies are making progress over time.|
|Department of Energy||To help agencies address the challenges they face in meeting energy goals into the future, the Secretary of Energy should finalize and issue guidance that instructs agencies in developing long-term energy plans that consider the key elements of effective plans identified in this report.|