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St. Louis Federal Building Recognized for its Energy Savings

Nov. 19, 2014

This winter GSA announced that its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded green investments are helping federal buildings use less energy, even during harsh winters.

After analyzing energy usage data of 59 federal buildings in states that were hardest hit last winter, GSA found that these buildings, all of which received ARRA-funded green investments, used an average of 5.5 percent less energy compared to the winter before the projects began. These buildings – including the Robert A. Young Federal Building in downtown St. Louis — saved enough energy during the winter months to supply 640 U.S. homes with electricity for a full year. In addition, a third of these buildings showed double-digit energy savings.

“Even during frigid temperatures and record snowfalls, GSA’s ARRA-funded green investments are helping make federal buildings more energy efficient,” said Ruth Cox, GSA’s senior sustainability official. “As the frequency of extreme weather events trends upward, it is important that federal buildings are able to meet the needs of occupants while also being cost-effective to operate.”

Case Study

Completion Year: FY 2010

Winter Energy Cost Savings: $55,232

Winter Energy Reduction: 10.7 percent

Full-Year Energy Cost Savings: $263,245

Full-Year Energy Reduction: 20.5 percent

At the Robert A. Young Federal Building, GSA used ARRA funds to invest in a complete retro-commissioning study to ensure proposed energy upgrades most effectively reduced operation and maintenance costs, as well as energy demand. The resulting project installed advanced metering systems to track energy consumption, repaired building façade and windows, upgraded HVAC systems and controls, and retrofitted the building with efficient LED lighting. The project further offset energy use by installing a renewable energy photovoltaic system on the roof, which converts sunlight to electricity.

The average energy usage intensity (EUI) of the 59 buildings was 5.5 percent lower over the harsh winter months in FY 2014 as compared to the same months in FY 2008. Of the 59 buildings analyzed, 20 reduced their winter energy usage intensity by 10 percent or more between FY 2008 and FY 2014. EUI is calculated by dividing total energy usage (i.e. chilled water, gas, electricity, steam, oil) by total number of square feet.

The FY 2008 winter (November 2007-March 2008) was used as the baseline because it was the last winter before the ARRA projects began. Normal weather conditions are based on NOAA’s 1981-2010 observed average temperatures.

About GSA’s ARRA-Funded Projects

The Recovery Act allocated funds for GSA to convert federal facilities into high-performance green buildings, and to address deferred maintenance needs and necessary facility upgrades. GSA has 447 federal buildings with completed or ongoing ARRA-funded projects. These projects are expected to reduce energy consumption by 19 percent and yield annual energy cost savings of $62 million once all are complete.

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