The US Capitol complex is getting an energy face-lift - a cogeneration plant that will generate electricity and create steam to heat the campus.
The Architect of the Capitol (AoC) says it has almost $100 million for three projects - at the House, Senate and Library of Congress. The project will be paid for through energy savings, with no costs upfront.
"We are getting unbelievable energy and water savings out of those contracts that we brought these private companies in to do for us," says Stephen Ayers, the AoC, in an interview with The Hill.
AoC met its energy-reduction goals of 18% last year, saved more than $300,000 in energy costs at its power plant and eliminated the great majority of its computer servers by transitioning to cloud computing.
"We are the ones that manage our buildings day to day. Being sustainable, recycling and all of the other energy-reduction initiatives we've put forth really do make a difference," Ayers says.
AoC took over Nancy Pelosi's Greening the Capitol effort, which instituted recycling and composting among many other sustainability initiatives at the House. That effort was unraveled by the GOP when they took over the House, by such things as ending composting and bringing back styrofoam dishware.
LEDs Light Up National Mall
The national mall is now lit by LEDs, which will reduce the energy consumed by street lamps some 65%.
The Mall is the biggest energy consumer of all 397 national parks because of its long stretch of walking and bike paths and dozens of structures that are open 24 hours a day.
Osram Sylvania donated 174 LED bulbs and the retrofit kits needed to install them in the historic bronze streetlamps that line the Mall. And the local utility, Pepco, installed them free of charge.
The Park Service won't have to replace the bulbs for an impressive 25 years. LEDs can also be oriented to only deliver light to where it's needed.