Energy Department Wastes Energy

(p. A17) WASHINGTON — Like flossing or losing weight, saving energy is easier to promise than to actually do — even if you are the Department of Energy.

Its Web site advises that choosing new lighting technologies can slash energy use by 50 to 75 percent. But the department is having trouble taking its own advice, according to an internal audit released on Wednesday; many of its offices are still installing obsolete fluorescent bulbs.
And very few have switched to the most promising technology, light-emitting diodes, which the department spent millions of dollars to help commercialize.
Many of the changes would generate savings that would pay back the investment in two years or so, according to the report, by the department’s inspector general.
In one case, the Department of Energy made most of the investment by installing timers to shut off lights at night when it moved into a new building in 1997. But it got no benefit: as of March of this year, it had not bought the central control unit needed to run the system.

For the full story, see:
MATTHEW L. WALD. “Energy Department: Make Thyself Fuel Efficient.” The New York Times (Thurs., July 8, 2010): A17.
(Note: the online version of the article is dated July 7, 2010, and has the title “Energy Department Lags in Saving Energy.”)

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