As part of GSA’s core mission of delivering service and savings to the federal government, our Greater Southwest Region recently completed the installation of a web-based Building Automation System that is expected to save an estimated $1.2 million per year in taxpayer dollars through reductions in utility consumption. Through Energy Savings Performance Contracts, seventy five buildings in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, were included in the project, with another 15 buildings planned.
Energy Savings Performance Contracts, or ESPCs, leverage private funds to perform energy efficiency upgrades at a reduced cost to taxpayers. The retrofit projects are paid for through energy savings over time, afterwards the government and taxpayers reap the benefits and savings for years to come.
With this new system, building managers view building performance using dashboards, and see analysis on energy savings and recommendations for making their buildings run more efficiently. While individual building control is maintained at the facilities, staff in regional offices can monitor whether equipment is operating correctly, and whether temperatures are being properly maintained in any of the buildings. Making this information more accessible has already resulted in energy savings.
Prior to this program, building systems were proprietary and required service contracts with a single equipment manufacturer for each geographical area, providing for little or no competition The new system operates on open communications protocols, allowing over 200 U.S. companies to compete to provide services. This improvement alone is expected to yield substantial savings in ongoing repair and maintenance costs.
Through Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance (EO 13514), the Obama administration has placed an emphasis on reducing energy consumption in federal buildings. Installing new technologies such as these automation and data systems is one approach that GSA is taking to save energy and taxpayer dollars in government buildings across the country.