The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) focuses on energy and sustainability efforts in a cost-effective manner to maintain efficient, high-performing and healthy buildings across the Capitol campus. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required the AOC to annually reduce its energy consumption by three percent for Fiscal Years 2006-2015, for an aggregate of 30 percent by the end of FY15. The goal was successfully achieved.
This 30 percent reduction is a major accomplishment. It is even more amazing when you consider that the AOC is working with buildings designed without modern technologies in mind. And given that many of our buildings are used in some form or fashion nearly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
How did we succeed? Our approach to sustainability and energy on Capitol Hill is built upon three defining elements... buildings, infrastructure and people.
We have installed energy conservation measures in our buildings. These are being paid off through the energy savings generated. In 10 years, the energy conservation program has produced savings across the Capitol campus equivalent to $94 million.
The enhanced technology components of our infrastructure and building upgrades provided new tools to improve our energy use decision-making and efficiency.
The Capitol Power Plant has made dramatic performance improvements in the generation and delivery of chilled water and steam throughout our facilities. By revitalizing the refrigeration plant and installing new chillers, we have increased chilled water efficiency with new chillers that are 20 percent more efficient. These chillers aren’t small, one can use more electricity than the Rayburn House Office Building or Hart Senate Office Building on the busiest day of the year.
And our people have adopted these new technologies. We use energy data and advanced control systems to solve complex issues and drive efficiency improvements.
The AOC is committed to a more energy-efficient and sustainable future. We are very proud of this remarkable accomplishment of 30 percent energy reduction and will be sharing a few examples on this blog in the coming weeks that illustrate how we reached our goal.