The Fed’s GSA Green Proving Ground Program is trying to find ways to be more environmentally friendly while reducing costs and many other private sector companies are following suit. The private sector, however, has a harder time accomplishing these goals compared to the government due to lack of funding, which is why the GSA’s program is beneficial to them.
Richard Walker writes in an article on AOLGoverment, that “According to the GSA, ‘lighting together with power loads from equipment plugged into power-strips account for nearly 65 percent of electricity consumption in federal office buildings’”. The General Services Administration is using its Green Proving Ground Program to investigate and evaluate ways to reduce these operational costs. They have applied retrofitted lighting technology, which adjusts light levels according to occupancy, scheduling and personal control, just to name a few. This technology is not only cost effective and beneficial to the environment, but is also causing an increase in workstation occupant’s satisfaction levels. They are also focusing on finding more energy efficient power strips, since “plug loads account for about 25 percent of total electricity consumed within federal office buildings” according to the GSA.
These studies being conducted by the GSA benefit the private sector, including commercial real estate professionals and other property management companies, because they do not have the luxury of being a proving ground, so they will be able to get the insight without all the costs. These studies will allow CRE pros and property management companies to reduce their overall operational costs in the immediate future, by using the more energy efficient solutions that the GSA has already tested and proved to be more cost effective.