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Energy Star® Purchasing Initiative
The U.S. federal sector is the largest purchaser of energy-using equipment in the world. In the mid-1990s, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory began creating a series of Product Energy Efficiency Recommendations for the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). These recommendations identify products that are "in the upper 25% of energy efficiency for all similar products, or at least 10% more efficient than the minimum level that meets federal standards." Employees at federal agencies can now consult these product recommendations before making purchases and thus make more informed and cost-efficient decisions regarding the purchase of energy-using products.
The collective purchasing power of state and local governments is three to four times that of the federal government. Building on the spirit and success of the FEMP program for the federal sector, staff researchers at the Washington, DC office of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are supporting a joint initiative of the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy called "ENERGY STAR® Purchasing for State and Local Governments." The program aims to reduce air pollution by helping state and local governments make purchase decisions favoring ENERGY STAR and other energy-efficient products.
To help promote informed purchase decisions by state and local governments, EPA and DOE have created a "Toolkit" that will initially be distributed in paper form and later be made available on the World Wide Web. The Toolkit includes the following:
Energy-efficiency purchase specifications that guide purchasers to cost-effective efficiency options;
Life-cycle costing analysis tools for calculating the energy and financial savings of potential purchase options;
Specific examples of procurement language (e.g., a person who wishes to purchase computers could use this language to make clear to potential sellers that only ENERGY STAR labeled computers will be considered); and
Suggested ways to convey the organization's commitment to procurement of efficient products.
Preliminary analysis indicates that an aggressive effort to channel the estimated $50-70 billion dollars that state and local governments spend annually on energy-related products toward improved energy efficiency could produce annual savings by 2010 of approximately 22 billion kWh of electricity and 34 trillion Btu of gas and fuel oil. These energy savings correspond to an annual energy cost savings of approximately $1.2 billion and would yield an annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 4.1 million metric tonnes of carbon.
For information on participating in this program, contact Jennifer Dolin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 564-9073.
Dolin, Jennifer R. and E.R. Raynolds. 1998. The ENERGY STAR® Purchasing Initiative. Proceedings of the ACEEE 1998 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Volume 7, pp. 77-87. Washington,DC: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy | 36K pdf.
Updated Report Notes: The ACEEE paper cited above reported potential financial savings of $107.2 million per year. After correction for a numerical error, the potential financial savings are estimated to be much larger - approximately $1.2 billion per year.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE): This non-profit organization promotes energy efficiency and pollution prevention through education, analysis, and advocacy.
Federal Energy Management Program: This money-saving DOE program promotes energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy sources in federal buildings.
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN): This part of DOE promotes the development and adoption of efficiency and renewable energy technologies. It also works with EPA to design voluntary programs to promote energy efficiency and reduce pollution.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Division: This part of EPA designs voluntary programs to promote energy efficiency and reduce pollution.
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