DOE Recognizes Federal Eco Warriors

We’ve been bringing you plenty of stories about new measures to cut the carbon footprint of the U.S. military, but then again, a number of different federal agencies have been getting on the green act. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced the winners of the 30th annual Federal Energy and Water Management Awards, which recognize the commitment by federal agencies to invest in efficiency measures that save money for taxpayers, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and “create a stronger economy for the American people.”

This year’s winners include 29 individuals, teams and organizations across the federal government honored for outstanding and innovative efforts to implement sustainable strategies that improve energy, water and vehicle fleet efficiency. Those winners include individuals employed by  the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Defense Logistics Agency; the departments of Agriculture, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior and Veterans Affairs; and the General Services Administration.

Camp Pendleton green enlisted bachelor quarters

image vai Joseph Wong Design Associates

The combined accomplishments of this year’s winners include saving 250 billion British thermal units (Btu) through the installation of renewable energy systems, including solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, wind turbines,and geothermal heat pumps; implementing facility-wide comprehensive changes to operations and maintenance practices that saved 1.5 trillion Btu by upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment; and installing high efficiency lighting, building materials and energy management control systems.

Winners were also responsible for installing significant water efficiency improvements, saving 3.4 billion gallons of water through high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, upgrades to irrigation systems, use of native landscaping and reuse of reclaimed and recovered groundwater;  building LEED certified facilities; and implementing energy savings performance contracts, utility energy service contracts and power purchase agreements to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and greenhouse gas management projects.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.