United States GAO General Acconnting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 Resources, Commnnity, and Economic Development Division B-276408 March 21, 1997 The Honorable Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. Chairman, Committee on Commerce House of Representatives The Honorable Dan Schaefer Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy and Power Committee on Commerce House of Representatives Subject: Energv Consumution: Federal Agencies’ Electric&v Use and Cost Changes to the electricity industry are being considered at the federal and state levels that could affect federal agencies’costs for electricity. Currently, electricity constitutes about 45 percent of the energy used and about 80 percent of energy costs.’ To assist the Committee in its deliberations on changes in the electricity market, you asked us to provide information on (1) the amount of electricity used in federal buildings and facilities and (2) the costs of this electricity from fiscal year 1986 through fiscal year 1995. As agreed with your offices, we plan, in a subsequent review, to exarnine the estimated savings to the federal government If legislation were enacted authorizing the purchase of electricity competitively on the open market. %lectricity data are a subset of the energy data. Energy includes electricity and other fuels, such as natural gas, coal, and fuel oil. GAO/fWED-97-97R Federal ElectriciQ Use B-276408 In summary, the federal government used about 61 billion kilowatt-hours’ of electricity in fiscal year 199~the latest year for which data were available-in its buildings and facilities. Electricity use in the federal government is highly concentrated in a few agencies: The Department of Defense (DOD) used about 50 percent of the total in tical year 1995, and the five next largest consuming agencies-the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the United States Postal . Service, the Department of Energy (DOE), the General Services Administration (GSA),3and the Department of Veterans Affairs-accounted for about another 34 percent. Electricity costs in federal buildings and facilities in fiscal year 1995 totaled about $3.5 billion. Electricity costs were similarly concentrated, with DOD and the five other agencies accountig for about 87 percent of the total cost. BACKGROUND DOE’s Office of Federal Energy Management Programs (FEMP) coordinates federal energy efficiency efforts and reports annually to the Congress on federal energy consumption and conservation activities by executive branch agencies4 FEMP gathers these data from agencies under three categories: buildings and 2A watt is the basic unit used to measure electric power. A kilowatt is 1,000 watts. A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is equal to 1 kilowatt of power applied for 1 hour. The average household in the United States uses about 10,000 kWh of electricity per year, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. 3GSA reports energy consumption data for buildings that it controls including data for buildings leased to tenant agencies to whom GSA has not delegated the responsibility for operation and maintenance. 4For fiscal year 1995, FEMP’s data were for 28 executive branch agencies and did not include the judicial and legislative branch agencies. Enclosure I is a listing of the agencies that report data to FEMP. 2 GAO/RCED-97-97R Federal Electricity Use B-276408 facilities, energy-intensive operations,5 and vehicles and equipment6 In fiscal year 1995, federal agencies used about 1.9 percent of the energy consumed in the nation, according to FEMP.7 Because our primary focus for this report is electricity use and costs, we combined the buildings and facilities and energy- intensive operations categories for our discussion of federal buildings and facilities. The few agencies that have facilities outside the United States differ as to how they report to FEMP electricity consumption at such facilities. F’EMP officials said that they do not attempt to isolate these data A DOD official told us DOD’s total use reported to FEMP includes nondomestic use-about 24 percent of DOD’s preliminary total use for &xl year 1996, costing about $420 million. Electricity use at facilities outside the United States would not be affected by restructuring the electricity industry in the United States. ELECTRICI’I’Y USE IN FEDERAL BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES Over the N-year period fiscal years 1986-95, the use of electricity measured at federal buildings and facilities increased from 0.16 quadrillion British thermal units (Bt@ in fiscal year 1986 to 0.21 quadrillion Btu in fiscal year 1995. Fi,sure 1 shows electricity’s portion of energy use in quadrillions of Btu for the 28 agencies reportink to FEMP. !?bis category includes the energy consumed in industrial operations, certain research and development activities, and in electronic-intensive facilities, such as air tmf6c control towers. ‘For &xl year 1995,28 agencies reported that buildings and facilities used about 32 percent of the energy at a cost of about $3.6 billion, energy-intensive facilities used about 9 percent at a cost of about $0.9 billion, and vehicles and equipment used the remaining 59 percent at a cost of about $3.4 billion. 7Annual Renort to Congress on Federal Government Energv Management and Conservation Programs. Fiscal Year 1995, DOE, Washington, DC.: Draft. According to FEMP officials, the draft, which is expected to be published in April 1997, contains tial consumption totals for fiscal year 1995, which we used. *A Btu, the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit, is a standard unit for measuring the energy used in operating buildings and facilities. 3 GAOIRCED-97-97R Federal Electricity Use ES-276408 Fiaure 1: Electricitv’s Portion of Enerav Use in Federal Buildings and Facilities, in British Thermal Units Bbs in quadrillions 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 -- .m.-.-.m 0.2 .-.-.= .-.-.-.-.-.-*-.-.-.-.-.*--. t*-*-.C.-.--m ”1986 1987 7986 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 Fiscal years s Energy C.-. ua$f* Notes: The increases in fiscal years 1994 and 1995 are largely attributable to TVA. They result from a revised management accounting method at TVA, designed to reflect requirementsof the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which captures the costs of electricity use in its plants (most of which is electricity used for the generation of electricity). According to FEMP and TVA officials, comparable data are not available for previous years. FEMP and TVA officials agree that this methodology provides additional management information, but to be consistent with other agencies that produce electricity, the fiscal year 1996 FEMP report will likely not reflect this energy use. Energy includes electricity and other fuels, such as natural gas, coal, and fuel oil. Source: Developed by GAO from data provided by FEMP. J?@re 2 presents the same information on electricity use expressed in kilowatt- hours rather than Btu. 4 GAO/RCED-97-97R Federal Electricitp Use B-276408 Fiaure 2: Electricitv Use in Federal Buildinas and Facilities, in Kilowatt-Hours Kilowatt-hours in billions 70 r 50 4 50 I- do- ’ 30- 20 - 10 - oil I 1 , t I 1 , I 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 Fiscal years Note: The conversion factor for electricity is 3,142 Btu per kilowatt-hour. Source: Developed by GAO from data provided by FEMP. Officials at DOE’s Energy Information Administration, DOD, and FEMF’were unable to provide independent estimates of federal agencies’future electricity consumption. Whether the agencies’future rate of growth in electricity consumption ‘can be extrapolated from the historic patterns is very uncertain. However, if one assumes that the growth rate for the near future would generally follow the trend of the recent past&the rate could range from an increase of 1 percent annually to a decrease of 1.6 percent. We calculated this range using electricity consumption by federal agencies, as reported to F’EMP for the last 11 years. We estimated the growth rate for three recent time periods-the last IO years, 5 years, and 3 years-which resulted in average annual growth rates of positive 1 percent, and negative 1 and 1.6 percent, respectively. ELECTF?ICITY COSTS IN FEDERAL BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES The cost of electricity in federal buildings and facilities in &scal year 1995 for the 28 federal agencies was about $3.5 billion. Figure 3 shows electricity’s GAOIRCED-97-97Ft Federal Electricity Use B-276408 portion of energy costs for the period fiscal years 1986-95in constant 1995 dollars? Fiaure 3: Electricitv’s Portion of Enerov Costs in Federal Buildinas and Facilities, Fiscal Years 1986-95 Constant 1995 dollars in billions 4- -----.r.-.q ._*_. =.-- -a-._ .----SW.. *-m.- .-.). ,.-a- 3- 2- l- o ' I 1 I / , I I I I 1986 1987 1988, , 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 Fiscal years Notes: These data are also presented in a bar chart in enc. III. According to TVA’s Internal Energy Management Program Coordinator, because of the nature of TVA’s business, TVA’s cost is based on a benchmark rate and does not reflect. the actual cost for electricity used in station service. Source: Developed by GAO from data provided by FEMP. Six agencies accounted for about 87 percent of the federal agencies’total electicity costs in fiscal year 1995 (see fig. 4). ‘Enclosure II. shows each agency’s electricity costs for build&gs and facilities in constant 1995 dollars for fiscal years 1986-95. 6 GAOIRCED-97-97R Federal Electricitg Use B-276408 Fiaure 4: Aaencies’ Share of Federal Electricitv Costs. Fiscal Year 1995 DOD 52.3% 22 other agencies 13.4% United States Postal Department of Veterans Service 8.8% Affairs 4.4% DOE 6.2% GSA 5.4% Note: GSA reports energy consumption data for buildings that it controls, including data for buildings leased to tenant agencies to whom GSA has not delegated the responsibility for operation and maintenance. . Source: Developed by GAO from data provided by FEMP. AGENCY COMMENTS We provided copies of a draft of this report to DOE and DOD, the largest single federal electricity consumer, for review and comment. We met with officials of DOE, including the Deputy Director, FEMP, who fully concurred with the information presented in the draft report. FEMP also provided some clarifying comments that have been incorporated in the report as appropriate. For example, FEMP noted that we should more fully explain the extent to which agencies differ in reporting nondomestic electricity use. We revised our discussion to address these concerns. In addition, DOD fully concurred with the facts contained in the draft. SCOPE AND h4ETHODOLOGY 7 GAO/WED-97-97X Federal Electricity Use B-276408 We conducted our review primarily at DOE’s FZMP in Washington, DC. We interviewed officials and obtained data on electricity and energy use and costs at F’EMP and its contractor, which performs data analysis and provides information for FEMP’s reports. The electricity data are a subset of the energy data that F’EMP includes in DOE’s annual report to the Congress. We contacted officials at the Department of State, DOD, GSA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Panama Canal Commission to identify how much of those agencies’reported electricity use was in the United States- We contacted officials at the Department of State, DOD, DOE, GSA, and TVA to discuss consumption reporting concerning energy-intensive facilities. We discussed projected electricity use fiorn 1995 through 2000 with officials of DOE’s Energy Information Administration. We contacted officials of the Architect of the Capital, our own office, and the Government Printing Office to obtain electricity consumption data for the judicial and legislative branches.‘* We did not verify the data obtained from FEMP, but we did discuss FEMP’s procedures for validating the data submitted by the agencies. A ITEMP official told us that the office idenufies significant variances, defied as 2 to 5 percent depending on the type of information, from prior reports and asks agencies to either explain those variances and/or provide narratives for inclusion in F’EMP’s annual report. FEMP provides, with its annual reporting guidance, an electronic worksheet to allow agencies to self-check their consumption and cost data. We conducted our work from January 1997 to March 21, 1997, in accordance with generally accepted government auditig standards. As arranged with your offices, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days after the date of this letter. At that time, we w-ill send a copy to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy. We wiU also make copies available to others upon request. If you or ‘“According to data provided by legislative branch officials, the legislative and judicial branches’use is less than 1 percent of the government’s electricity use. 8 GAO/RCED-97-97R Federal Electricity Use B-276408 your staff have any questions concerning this report, please contact me at (202) 512-3841. Major contributors to this report were Peg Reese, Jim Kennedy, and Charles Hessler. Enclosures - 3 9 GAO/RCED-97-95% Federal Electricity Use ENCLOSURE I ENCLOSURE I ,AGENCIES WHOSE ELECTRICITY USE HAS BEEN REPORTED BY THE OFFICE OF FEDERAL ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS Agency Abbreviation Commodity Futures Trading Commission CFrC Department of Agricukure USDA Department of Commerce DOC Department of Defense DOD Department of Energy DOE Department of Health and Human Services HHS Department of Housing and Urban Development Department of the Interior DO1 Department of Justice DOJ Department of Labor DOL Department of State ST Department of Transportation DOT Deparbnent of the Treasury TRSY Department of Veterans Affairs VA Environmental Protection Agency EPA Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC Federal Communications Commission FCC Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FERC Federal Trade Commission FTC General Services Adrnhhtration GSA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA National Archives and Records Administration NARA National Science Foundation NSF Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC Office of Personnel Management OPM Panama Canal Commission PCC Railroad Retirement Board RRB Tennessee Valley Authority TVA United States Information Agency USIA United States Postal Service USPS Source: Office of Federal Energy Management Programs (FEMP). 10 GAO/ICED-97-97R Federal Electricity Use ENCLOSURE II ENCLOSURE II ELECTRICITY COSTS IN FEDERAL BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES, FISCAL YEARS 1986-95 Constant 1995 dollars in millions Agencya 11986 1988 1 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 DODb 1 $2,191.4 ) tWW3.8 $2,188.7 1 $2,085.4 $2,275.1 $2,129.9 $2,071.7 1 $2,098.0 1 $1,918.3 $1,831.9 I I I I I I TVAb I 8.7 8.6 8.0 7.8 6.9 6.7 6.7 6.6 372.2 330.6 USPS I 264.3 1 267.6 270.5 273.9 275.0 1 286.9 288.1 1 300.7 1 305.6 307.3 DOEb I 308.5 1 302.9 302.3 1 292.5 284.2 I 267.9 269.2 1 228.8 1 239.7 217.7 NASAb 108.6 113.6 94.8 DOJb 25.0 29.2 HHS 40.6 37.0 43.9 USDAb 32.3 38.0 36.9 1 39.6 1 38.6 37.4 I DOI TRSYb DOCb 32.7 10.1 11.5 31.3 20.3 10.7 -et-E 10.6 12.7 15.j 1 12.5- 33.6 1 29.1 1 14.9 33.0 28.2 I 17.4 39.9 24.1 18.7 36.1 31.1 I 11 GAOMXD-97-97R Federal Electricity Use ENCLOSURE II ENCLOSURE II Agency” 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 DOL 15.6 15.1 14.9 14.2 14.2 14.0 14.0 14.3 14.7 14.4 USIA 0 0 0 11.1 7.4 8.3 9.3 8.6 12.9 11.5 EPA 7.4 6.6 7.0 6.3 7.0 7.6 7.4 6.9 7.1 7.9 STb 4.8 4.7 4.3 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.3 6.1 6.7 6.8 NARA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.9 4.7 5.4 PCCb 3.9 4.3 4.1 3.7 4.0 4.0 3.7 3.7 3.8 3.8 HUD 2.4 2.2 2.1 2.0 2.2 2.1 2,2 1.9 1.8 1.8 FEMA 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.7 1.5 1.4 OPM 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.1 1.1 1.1 FCC 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 Other” 4.3 5.0 5.2 5.8 5.5 3.1 2.9 1.9 2.1 2.4 Total $3,55&l $3,592.7 $3,525.5 $3,453.3 $3,662.1 $3,544.5 $3,449.7 $3,460.3 $3,666-l $3,501,5 aAbbreviationsfor agency names are contained in enc. I. bFor this agency, the costs include those for energy-intensive operations, which FEMP tracked separately. ‘“Other” includes, for certain years, CFTC, EEOC, FEW, FTC, NARA, NRC, NSF, RRB, and USIA. Source: Developed by GAO from data provided by FEMP. 12 GAO/RCED-97-97R Federal Electricity Use ENCLOSURE ItI ENCLOSURE III ELECTRICITY’S PORTION OF ENERGY COSTS IN FEDERAL BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES, FISCAL YEARS 198&95 Constant 1995 dollars in billions v Source: Developed by GAO from data provided by FEMP. (141015) 13 GAO/RCED-97-97RFederal Electricity Use i’, .i Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the following address, accompanied by a check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when necessary. VISA and Mastercard credit cards are accepted, also. Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. Orders by mail: U.S. GeneraI Accounting Office P.O. Box 6015 Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 or visit: Room 1100 700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW) U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, DC Orders may also be placed by caBing (202) 512-6000 or by using fax number (301) 258-4066, or TDD (301) 413-0006. Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and testimony. To receive facsimile copies of the daily list or any list from the past 30 days, please caII (202) 512-6000 using a touchtone phone. A recorded menu wiB provide information on how to obtain these lists. For information on how to access GAO reports on the INTERNET, send an e-mail message with 9nfo” in the body to: info%vww.gao.gov United States General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548-0001 Official Business Penalty for Private Use $300 Address Correction Requested
Energy Consumption: Federal Agencies' Electricity Use and Cost
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-03-21.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)