The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) named the winners of the 30th annual Federal Energy and Water Management Awards, which are designed to recognize the commitment by federal agencies to invest in efficiency measures.

In 2011, 29 individuals, teams, and organizations across the federal government received awards for efforts to implement sustainable strategies that improve energy, water, and vehicle fleet efficiency. Winners include employees from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Defense Logistics Agency; the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, and Veterans Affairs; and the General Services Administration.

“Investing in energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies not only cuts government waste, it saves taxpayer money,” said U.S. Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, in a prepared statement. “Today”s winners are not only helping their agencies meet waste reduction goals, they are also helping the nation decrease our dependence on oil, strengthen our economy, and reduce energy use and carbon pollution.”

According to the DOE, the 2011 winners contributed to 7.9 trillion Btu of energy savings through initiatives across the federal government, the equivalent energy consumed by more than 83,000 households per year. Their initiatives also helped avoid the use of 49.6 million gallons of fuel — equivalent to removing more than 113,000 cars from the road for one year — and facilitated savings of more than $162 million in costs and 3.4 billion gallons of water. In addition, their projects helped to offset more than 250 billion Btu of fossil-based energy through a combination of renewable energy generation and purchases, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of more than 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Over the past 30 years, the DOE says winners have saved almost $16 billion and an estimated 770 trillion Btu of energy. This awards program is held each year in October in conjunction with Energy Awareness Month to highlight the importance of energy efficiency and renewable resources and federal efforts to lead by example in energy management.

The combined accomplishments of this year”s winners include:
• Saving 250 billion Btu through the installation of renewable energy systems, including solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps.
• Implementing facility-wide comprehensive changes to operations and maintenance practices, saving 1.5 trillion Btu by upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment, and by installing high efficiency lighting, building materials, and energy management control systems.
• Installing significant water efficiency improvements, saving 3.4 billion gallons of water through high efficiency plumbing fixtures, upgrades to irrigation systems, use of native landscaping, and reuse of reclaimed and recovered groundwater.
• Building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified facilities with state-of-the-art technologies and environmentally friendly workspaces.
• Implementing energy-savings performance contracts, utility energy service contracts, and power purchase agreements to fund energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, and greenhouse gas management projects.

To see the complete list of this year”s winners, visit the 2011 Federal Energy and Water Management Award Winners Web page.