From BAS upgrades to xeriscaping, see how these award-winning government agencies are saving water and energy

by Brianna Crandall — January 29, 2021 — The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) recently announced the 27 winners of the 2020 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards and the two winners of the FEMP Director’s Award.

2020 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards

Through the annual Federal Energy and Water Management Awards competition, FEMP recognizes outstanding achievements in energy and water efficiency, resilience, technology, distributed energy, cybersecurity, and fleet management across the federal government. The Federal Energy and Water Management Awards recognize individuals, teams and organizations that have taken initiatives to cut energy waste, reduce costs, optimize performance, and advance America’s progress towards energy independence, resilience, and security.

Highlights of the exemplary energy and water management initiatives and best practices include:

  • Developing and awarding 25 complex energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy service contracts (UESCs) to generate guaranteed annual savings;
  • Using an 8 MWh battery energy storage system to supply power during peak hours and lower demand charges;
  • Installing new controls to manage HVAC systems through an energy management control system, allowing for setbacks during times of vacancy, and to allow operations and maintenance staff to address mechanical system issues as they occur;
  • Replacing poor-performing luminaires with high-efficiency LED lights that also improve lighting quality;
  • Piloting a data-driven analytical approach to cost-effectively identify and perpetuate controls savings;
  • Upgrading building automation system (BAS) controls, ground-source heat pump controls, data center HVAC, lighting systems, and domestic (military base) water fixtures;
  • Developing and installing 10 MW of on-site distributed energy generation coupled with battery storage and secure microgrid controls that reduce or eliminate utility outages and sustain critical training operations when the commercial grid goes down;
  • Constructing an 8-million-gallon thermal energy storage system (TESS) that increases chilled water capacity, energy efficiency and reliability; saves on electricity costs; and provides emergency chilled water in case of power loss, chiller plant failure or pipe leaks;
  • Using an ESPC for lighting replacements, HVAC controls and equipment replacement, a ground-mounted and carport-mounted solar PV system, xeriscaping (using landscaping techniques such as drought-tolerant plants, mulch and efficient irrigation to conserve water in arid and semiarid climates) and interior plumbing upgrades;
  • Installing 105 harmonic filters on variable frequency drives (VFDs) serving HVAC equipment for energy conservation, thereby earning a hefty utility rebate and reducing system harmonics that can potentially damage sensitive electronic equipment; and
  • Reducing the amount of time a new central dialysis reverse-osmosis water treatment system was programed to be in operational mode, thereby saving water and utility costs while still meeting patient needs.

This year’s Federal Energy and Water Award winners represent a broad spectrum of agencies across the federal government:

  • US Department of Defense, US Army, US Marine Corps, US Navy, US Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency
  • US Department of Agriculture
  • US Department of Commerce
  • US Department of Health and Human Services
  • US Department of Homeland Security
  • US Department of Transportation
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Office of Personnel Management
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

2020 FEMP Director’s Award

In addition to the competitively selected Federal Energy and Water Management Awards, FEMP presented the annual Director’s Award. The FEMP Director’s Award is chosen at the discretion of the FEMP Director to recognize distinguished individuals, organizations, and/or teams for outstanding leadership and collaboration that results in benefits across the federal government.

The 2020 FEMP Director’s Award winners are:

  • NASA for its headquarters-driven, agency-wide commitment to implementing the 50001 Ready program in support of agency strategic energy management goals; and
  • A joint DOE Building Technologies Office and Oak Ridge National Laboratory team for their collaboration with FEMP to develop the EMPOWER Wall, a first-of-its-kind smart wall cooling system, demonstrating the art of the possible that will advance state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies in federal buildings.

FEMP offered congratulations to the 2020 winners for demonstrating innovation and leadership, saying the award winners offer a rich opportunity to learn from examples and models and replicate successful strategies across the federal government.

Visit the 2020 Federal Energy and Water Management Award Winners website to learn more about these award-winning champions and their accomplishments.