USPS Saves $400m on Energy Since FY2007

by | Jul 22, 2011

The U.S. Postal Service has accumulated over $400 million in avoided energy costs since fiscal year 2007, the service has announced.

USPS made the announcement on the second anniversary of New York City’s largest green roof, atop the Morgan mail processing and distribution facility, which has saved more than $1 million in energy costs so far. The roof reduced energy use by 40 percent in the first year, the service reported.

USPS said it has created, and continues to develop, robust systems to audit and analyze facility energy data. It said energy reduction initiatives have included turning off lights and adjusting thermostats, the same actions that the service suggests to the public in a series of environmentally-themed postage stamps.

Recently USPS reported that two of its facilities installed new lighting and advanced lighting controls from Lime Energy.

Total savings from these two large projects are expected to exceed 2,800,000 kWh per year and save the USPS $429,184 in annual operating costs. Since January, Lime Energy has installed energy efficiency upgrades that it predicts will save $684,946 in annual energy costs for the eastern region of the USPS.

“Our energy savings are identified, measured and managed using the Postal Service’s Utility Management System, Enterprise Energy Management System and Corporate Energy Interface, three robust systems that establish our sustainability leadership in leveraging technology to encourage responsible, energy-conscious behavior,” said Thomas Day, chief sustainability officer. “These systems help the Postal Service measure, monitor and manage energy use, improving our ability to take advantage of future cost-saving opportunities.”

“Postal employees are committed to working every day to reduce energy use at Post Offices, mail processing facilities and all our buildings,” said Tom Samra, vice president, Facilities. “Energy audits since FY 2007 have helped us identify potential reductions of nearly 3 trillion BTUs with potential cost savings of more than $150 million per year.”

Last month USPS reported an overall eight percent decline in greenhouse gas emissions from an FY 2008 baseline.

Reduced facility energy use represented almost half of the Postal Service’s GHG emissions decrease, and USPS reported that it reduced facility energy use by 29.4 percent, or 9.9 trillion BTUs, from FY 2003 to FY 2010.

In its FY 2010 Annual Sustainability Report, published earlier this month, the service reported a 10.9 percent reduction in water consumption from a 2007 baseline, achieving a goal of a 10 percent reduction by 2015, and a 132.7 percent increase in postal vehicle alternative fuel use from 2005, beating a 10 percent per year goal for 2015. (Chart from report pictured, above.)

It has a goal of reducing scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 from a 2008 baseline, and has achieved a 9.5 percent reduction so far.

But USPS said it was off its target to reduce waste to landfill 50 percent from 2008 to 2015, with only a 5.8 percent reduction so far.

In related news this week, Constellation Energy signed an agreement to provide electricity to USPS facilities in New York, Massachusetts and Maine through July 2012. The utility also provides electricity to the service in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio.

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