This week on NVTC’s blog, Michael Canes, senior consultant at LMI, shares why smart energy usage fundamentally improves the way companies do business, and the five steps agencies can take to help their energy management.


Today’s government facility energy managers face the enormous challenge of meeting goals set through legislation and executive order (EO). For the past several years, managers have needed to increase the energy efficiency of buildings by 3 percent annually. But now, agencies also must utilize increasing proportions of renewable energy, 30 percent or more by 2025.

Meeting these benchmarks is necessary to comply with legislation, or EOs, but progressive agencies know that smart energy usage fundamentally improves the way they do business. Operating more efficiently increases program effectiveness.

We follow a five-step approach to help agencies improve energy management:

1. Assess current energy consumption
2. Identify opportunities to improve efficiency and add renewables
3. Analyze the economics of the alternatives
4. Budget and manage the finances of energy investments
5. Ensure the investments are in compliance with applicable environmental standards.

We analyzed alternate means to curb fuel consumption for the U.S. military’s theater of operation, reducing resources needed to supply fuel over hundreds of miles of terrain. Energy efficiency freed up vital resources to be used for other mission-oriented purposes, creating savings in fuel, equipment, and manpower; and increasing operational effectiveness.We currently are working with the Facilities Management and Engineering Directorate at U.S. Customs and Border Protection to provide consistent, up-to-date guidance on how to mesh legal mandates with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards to assure sustainability measures are of value to the government.The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) publishes an annual energy scorecard detailing federal agencies’ progress towards federal benchmarks. The most recent report shows that, while some agencies are progressing, others are lagging behind. The challenge to gain greater energy efficiency can be met, but it requires thorough assessment, a detailed plan of attack, and continuous implementation efforts.For more information, check out LMI’s book A Federal Leader’s Guide to Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), which equips federal leaders with a succinct guide to specific energy issues in the federal government—the nation’s largest consumer of energy.

Michael Canes, PhD, is an internationally recognized economist with an extensive background in the economics of energy and climate policy. He has published a number of studies related to energy economics and policy. His PhD in economics is from the University of California, Los Angeles.


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