Department of Energy

Energy Conservation: What Gets Measured Gets Done

Many in the federal government are working on building conservation plans. The problem is that there is no way to quantiatively measure success. For example, the Forrestal building is metered, but not individual offices and/or divisions. However, there are 4 circuit breakers or so for each Forrestal floor. Here is the idea: install a meter at each circuit breaker for each floor of EVERY FEDERAL BUILDING in the United States, and then all offices connected to that meter will be a "Conservation Team" in a spirited office competition for each federal building to see which teams can reduce energy consumption the most-- turning off lights, unplugging blackberry chargers, shutting down computers at night, etc. -- compared to an established baseline. Each quarter of the year there could be a small prize or recognition award for the winning "Conservation Team."

 

This will not only lead to fantatstic energy savings and huge returns on the order of $100,000s or more each year PER FEDERAL BUILDING in the U.S., and therefore returns to the U.S. taxpayers, this will be fun and a boost to employee moral and job satisfaction. E.g., people all connected to a common breaker/meter can come up with team names, "Nationals", "Nega-Watts," etc.

 

Lastly, these don't need to be advanced or smart meters. In fact, a huge policital rallying point besides the ones stated above can be that we now have a market to put to good use all of the currently working home electric meters that are being swapped out for AMI. In other words -- this would be at little or no cost to taxpayer -- except installation -- because the federal government can put to use and "recycle" all of the current meters that are being replaced by utilities across the country. This could tie into the smart grid grants and, for example, the BGE program and all of those perfectly good meters beign replaced.

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Idea No. 78