Changing Institutional Procurement Behavior to Achieve Energy Savings
Although federal policies regarding energy-efficient product procurement (EEPP) are long-standing and well-established, federal buyers do not typically request energy-efficient products when making purchases. This is a large missed opportunity: full compliance could save the U.S. federal government roughly $500 million in energy cost annually.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) began a new set of program activities to increase federal compliance with these procurement requirements. Program interventions included increased communication with contracting officers during the solicitation process; development of enhanced, targeted training; and collection and dissemination of procurement best practices across the federal sector.
We have collected and analyzed ~2,500 solicitations from over 40 different federal agencies to evaluate the influence of these interventions. Compared to pre-intervention years (FY15 and FY11), annual compliance rates for FY16 and FY17 increased by about 10%.
This paper provides an overview of the data collection process, analysis framework, intervention method, and results of our analysis. We discuss strategies to increase compliance rates by examining institutional factors that drive procurement behavior. By combining data collection with adjustment to program implementation, we have created an iterative process that is having a demonstrable effect in improving the impact of a long-running program.