VA recognizes when conducting its mission to care for our Nation’s Veterans, it has a responsibility to minimize environmental and energy-related impacts. This can be best accomplished through energy and water saving conservation measures.
VA employs a variety of methods to ensure our facilities are as efficient as possible by conducting building surveys, performing assessments, and tracking energy usage.
- Energy & Water Assessments
Annually, VA-owned facilities conduct energy and water assessments to determine how to upgrade and improve the facility’s efficiency. These assessments yield results for investments energy conservations measures (ECMs), which range from replacing windows and lighting to upgrading the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) control system.
All VA-owned facilities go through commissioning every four years.
Commissioning is a cost-effective approach that helps facilities control utility costs by ensuring that building systems can be operated and maintained according to the facility’s needs. It provides benefits such as extended equipment life and lower operating costs, and leads to better building efficiency.
- Measurement & Verification (M&V)
As a supplement to the Department of Energy’s M&V Guidelines: Measurement and Verification for Federal Energy Projects, VA has generated its own M&V requirements for standard Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) to be implemented under Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) at VA facilities. The Department of Veterans Affairs M&V Guideline for Standard Energy Conservation Measures contains procedures and guidelines for quantifying the savings resulting from energy efficiency equipment, water conservation, and renewable energy projects implemented through ESPCs for VA.
VA has installed electric metering systems at all VA-owned facilities to further to track energy usage and intensity. This will help the Department further determine the ideal locations to conduct energy conservation measures.
Additionally, VA will be installing non-electrical meters that track a facility’s use of water, chilled water, steam, and natural gas, and inventories over 150 million square feet of facility assets.