Before I start to describe all that I learned at the above conference, have a look at this Department of Energy page under 'Resources'. You will see a presentation created for CEO/CIO audiences, to engage them in data center energy efficiency. I created this with colleagues at NREL the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. You can view it as a PDF or as a PPT.
Govenergy had over 3000 participants this year. The event, August 9 - 12, 2009 in beautiful downtown Providence, Rhode Island, promised and delivered on the following:
- Gain insight on reducing Federal agency energy usage and cost, as mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Executive Order 13423, EISA 2007 and additional Federal guidance.
- Access the tools, techniques and best practices needed for meeting both day-to-day and long-term energy management goals.
- Develop effective partnerships amongst Federal energy professionals.
Here is the significance of the first bullet above:
Executive Order 13423 of 2007 and EISA 2007 set new federal energy goals:
• Increase use of renewable energy to not less than 3% of total electricity use in 2007 – 09, not less than 5% in 2010 – 12, and not less than 7.5% in 2013 and thereafter, with at least half from new sources in each year
• Reduce water use by 2% per year, 2008 – 2015
One of the most telling comments came from another attendee during a lunch break and I cannot even remember who said it. He said that the federal government had tried a "bottoms up" approach for the last several years toward energy efficiency, and had few successes, and was now trying a "top down" approach with mandates.
Coming from the West Coast, I'd be the first to admit that I have very little clue what goes on in Washington D.C. But I have formed impressions which may have been accurate or not. Let's just say I was very impressed at the vision, the magnitude of effort, and dedication in the program managers that I met at this event, all working fairly cohesively toward an Energy Efficiency goal.
The key player, in many cases, is the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) within the Department of Energy. FEMP has selected 16 companies to participate in their Energy Savings Performance Contracts. Those 16 companies are called 'ESCO's
"The ESCO guarantees that the energy improvements will result in a specified level of annual cost savings to the Federal agency customer. The cost savings are also guaranteed to be sufficient to allow the agency to pay the ESCO for its work over the term of the contract. After the contract ends, all additional cost savings accrue to the agency. Contract terms up to 25 years are allowed."
It is estimated that auditing all their work will require 25,000 audits annually in government buildings. It was predicted that an energy auditor could complete just 75 audits per year with all the documentation required so that is a huge investment in cutting energy use!
Ok, so what does this mean for you, the reader? it means that if you want to retrofit a data center housed in a federal building, there is a process to finance, through FEMP's assistance, capital costs over a 25 year period. you can do a lot of work under those conditions, don't you agree? Doesn't it make you feel good to know that the federal data centers are going to be funded to be energy efficient? I am very encouraged!
Have a green day!