IG report: DOE energy conservation efforts falling short

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“Site officials told us that given the constrained budget environment, it was often difficult to balance mission critical needs with implementing energy conservation measures,” the report said. “We recognize there are costs associated with evaluating facilities and implementing metering projects; however, we believe it is important for sites to prioritize projects with rapid payback periods and little or no required upfront investment.”

The report surveyed energy conservation techniques at Los Alamos, Oakridge, Sandia and Brookhaven national laboratories, as well as the Y-12 National Security Complex. It is part of a series of audits on DOE’s energy conservation efforts that are intended to meet the goal of reducing the department's energy consumption by 30 percent by fiscal 2015.

Previous inspector general reports revealed similar results and noted Energy's efforts were falling short. Those reports indicated more could be done to reduce building temperatures, upgrade lighting and instill more energy-efficiency measures in information technology.