Two federal facilities earn ENERGY STAR Combined Heat and Power Award
Dec 09, 2013

Two federal facilities, the Marine Corps Logistics Base of Albany, Georgia, and the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., were given the ENERGY STAR Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award last month for their exemplary power efficiency.

In an effort to reduce carbon pollution and lead the charge against the detrimental effects of climate change, the facilities produce electricity, steam and hot water from a single heat source, relying only on fuels such as natural gas or renewable landfill gas. Rather than letting the thermal energy from energy consumption and transmission go to waste, as is the norm among most commercial structures, these two facilities are taking a much-needed stand toward a sustainable future by recycling them for internal use.

The Marine Corps Logistics Base’s CHP system effectively utilizes renewable landfill gas to power essential base operations, reducing energy bills by approximately $1.3 million per annum. To put things in perspective, this is roughly as much energy as 1,200 homes would typically consume.

The National Archives and Records Administration, the other award recipient, recorded an astounding operating efficiency of 72 percent with its revolutionary CHP – a level nearly 50 percent better than the national average.

The awards were announced at the GreenGov Dialogue on Energy Management, a committee funded by the White House Council on Environmental Quality in Washington, D.C.

The inventive process of combining heat and power into one central system is well-suited for federal facilities because not only does it provide electricity, heat, and cooling for generalized office space, it also offers a reliable method of protecting fragile data resources, like server rooms and other operations vulnerable to power outages.

According to a Department of Energy assessment of the potential for CHP at federal facilities, the proliferation of CHP systems could save taxpayers more than $150 million annually and prevent the creation of a carbon footprint equivalent to that of 370,000 homes every year.