Department of Energy

An Idea to Save Heating and Cooling Costs and Reduce Greenhouse-Gas Emissions

The problem: Many people who work in government operated buildings often feel that the rooms in these buildings are too hot in winter and too cold in summer. The thermostats in many of these buildings either do not work or cannot be adjusted. It is very strange, inconvenient, and wasteful to have to wear short sleeves in the office and then have to bundle up going home or outside during the cold winter, and to have to wear a sweater over summer clothes in the office during the hot summer. The summer and winter temperature settings in these buildings not only make people feel uncomfortable and unproductive, but also cause a huge waste of money spent on heating and cooling, and have generated unnecessary greenhouse-gas emissions.

 

The idea: Let’s raise the temperature settings in government buildings to a comfortable level during the summer and lower the temperature settings to a comfortable level during the winter. The preferred winter and summer indoor temperatures can be determined either nation wide by surveying health experts, or locally by surveying people who work in each of the buildings. Let’s make sure the thermostats in all government buildings work properly.

 

The benefit: This idea is very simple but it can make government workers feel more comfortable and productive. More importantly, it can result in huge savings in heating and cooling costs and significant reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, a goal recently set by President Obama. It will have a tangible impact on people’s lives and on the environment. The benefit and savings will be realized immediately from the 500,000 buildings that the government operates.

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Idea No. 5495