Energy Audits Eliminate Wasteful Operations
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: How to Develop a Facilities Master PlanPt. 2: Reducing Energy Consumption, Complying with LawsPt. 3: Senate Buildings Receive Lighting, Plumbing RetrofitsPt. 4: This PagePt. 5: Historic vs. Modern Buildings: Which are More Efficient?
Along with more sophisticated metering, the AOC has a handful of projects, programs and initiatives on its radar as it continues to comply with EPAct and EISA.
First, the AOC is conducting energy audits. Audits will begin with facilities that consume the most energy in the Capitol Complex. An ideal strategy would be to audit the entire complex’s energy use upfront, but because funding needs to go toward actual energy-saving measures the AOC implements, it is auditing 20 percent of its buildings annually, Ayers says.
Along with energy audits, the AOC is looking into cogeneration capacity at the Capitol Power Plant, which could provide steam, supplementary electricity and backup power to the Capitol Complex while reducing emissions by capturing energy output more efficiently, according to Ayers’ testimony.
While the bottom line is the driving force behind most of these energy-saving measures in the Capitol Complex, the AOC sometimes does — as an extension of Congress — implement initiatives to serve as an example for other organizations.
Says Ayers, “The Congress and us have to take a leadership position to move the industry in a certain direction sometimes. But we have goals to meet. And if you don’t make your ROI, you need to invest those funds in something that will help you meet your goals that has a much better ROI. In an environment of very limited funds, you have to be very selective. Especially with tax payer dollars, of course, you have to be very selective on your investments.”