Cutting energy consumption is critical to U.S. security and in responding to climate change, but there are no easy solutions. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act calls for total energy use in federal buildings to be reduced 30 percent by 2015.
The Defense Department has a critical role in meeting the government's targets because it expends the bulk of the government's energy resources.
- Its 350,000 buildings account only for 20% of its total energy consumption.
- Remaining 80% is for deployed military forces.
- A large portion of the energy equation is fuel.
"The Defense Department hasn't lagged in its efforts to cut energy consumption," according to Al Shaffer, executive director of the Defense Energy Security Task Force, who says, "that Defense has tripled its spending on energy initiatives."
The Army is trying to incorporate into its process what's called "triple bottom line plus," which takes into account mission, environment, community--plus economic benefit, but challenges have occurred.