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GSA High-Performance Building Management Cuts Costs for Agencies, and Taxpayers

| GSA Blog Team
Post filed in: Energy  |  Public Buildings Service  |  Sustainability

GSA’s new Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2022 [PDF - 2 MB] emphasizes saving taxpayer money through more efficient management of federal real estate. GSA has made tremendous achievements in reducing the energy and water demands of its building operations, which translates to significant savings for taxpayers.

For the last decade, GSA has successfully met federal mandates to save energy and water. These are just a few of the results: 

  • GSA saved enough energy in the last decade to power over half a million homes for a year— energy that was instead available for American consumers, industry, or export.
  • Our dedicated efforts and investment have saved GSA, other federal agencies, and taxpayers more than $439 million in energy and water costs over the last decade (as compared to what GSA would have spent had our efficiency remained at 2007 levels).
  • GSA saved these substantial taxpayer resources by reducing the overall energy used per square foot by 23 percent and water used per square foot by 36 percent, across over 186 million square feet of offices, courthouses, warehouses, and other federal buildings.
  • GSA's efficiency gains continue to grow every year. Just in 2017, GSA saved more than $76 million on energy usage and more than $14 million on water usage, compared to 2007 levels.

GSA achieved these savings for the taxpayer using a variety of strategies, including:

  • No-cost strategies, such as close attention to temperature settings, operating schedules, and routine maintenance;
  • Low-cost strategies, such as installing LED lights and low-flow water fixtures as part of smaller renovations;
  • Major renovations funded through public-private partnerships (Energy Savings Performance Contracts) where contractors receive a portion of future cost savings as payment for immediate improvements made at no upfront cost; and
  • Disposal and congressionally-funded renovation of older buildings and construction of more-efficient new buildings, as directed by Congress.

GSA encourages its employees to focus on efficiency as part of these strategies by educating them about GSA's overall goals and providing them with monthly updates to track progress and identify areas of improvement. Through resources such as the SFTool, GSA is also sharing these strategies and resources more broadly to other federal agencies and the public.