The Energy Policy Act of 1992 authorized the use of private sector financing to implement energy conservation methods and energy-efficiency technologies by federal entities. Congress provided a mechanism, through Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC), to accelerate investment in cost-effective energy conservation measures in buildings across the Capitol campus.
These contracts enabled the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) to make significant upgrades to its infrastructure through energy savings projects with minimal capital investment. The AOC entered into three ESPCs – in the Capitol, House and Senate Jurisdictions – which was an important element in our strategy to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent within 10 years.
The ESPCs have helped the AOC complete conservation measures around the Capitol, House and Senate, including:
- Converting from pneumatic to direct digital heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls and upgrading building automation systems.
- Retrofitting existing light fixtures with high-efficiency lamps, ballasts, controls and reflectors; installing LED lighting in hearing rooms and expanding the lighting control systems.
- Upgrading transformers to high-efficiency models.
- Performing additional HVAC testing, adjusting and balancing to optimize the HVAC system.
- Adding removable insulation covers to reduce heat loss from steam valves.
- Replacing aged Air Handling Units with new energy efficient units.
- Replacing failing and defective steam traps and valves to eliminate steam losses and waste.
- Installing new motion/occupancy sensors in areas with infrequent and low occupancy levels.
Today, construction is complete and the projects have transitioned into training, implementation and performance phases.
AOC staff play a crucial role in utilizing the equipment and system upgrades to maximize energy savings, increase occupant comfort and discover additional energy-saving opportunities.
These projects are exceeding their expected energy savings targets, and represent a substantial portion of the AOC's overall energy savings. The AOC continues to focus on streamlining operating procedures and sustaining the energy savings made possible through the ESPCs.