Energy Conservation

Federal Agencies' Funding Sources and Reporting Procedures Gao ID: RCED-94-70 March 30, 1994

The federal government is the largest single energy user in the nation. In fiscal year 1992, the energy bill for 500,000 federal buildings and facilities came to more than $3.6 billion. The National Energy Conservation Policy Act requires that federal agencies, by the year 2000, cut energy use 20 percent from 1995 levels. This report provides the latest information available on the energy activities at the six largest energy-consuming agencies: the Defense Department, the Energy Department, the Transportation Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the General Services Administration, and the Postal Service. GAO identifies (1) energy expenditures, spending on energy conservation, and energy efficiencies achieved; (2) funding sources available for energy conservation measures; and (3) procedures used for tracking them.

GAO found that the agencies: (1) collectively achieved a 7-percent reduction in energy consumption relative to fiscal year (FY) 1985, with individual agencies' reductions ranging from 1.3 percent by USPS to 20.6 percent by DOE; (2) collectively spent $1.4 billion less on energy in FY 1992; (3) spent about $1 billion for energy conservation measures from FY 1985 through FY 1992; (4) obtained funding for energy conservation measures from such sources as general and direct appropriations, demand-side management programs, energy savings performance contracting, and the Federal Energy Efficiency Fund; and (5) are not identifying and reporting all funds spent on energy conservation initiatives and differ in how they account for conservation dollars spent and track headquarters, regional, and field offices energy conservation activities. GAO also found that the Office of Management and Budget and DOE are developing cost accounting and management guidance that should help alleviate variances in agencies' reporting practices.

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