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White House Goes Energy Efficient
Turn out those lights -- Turn up that thermostat
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The White House

Dateline: July 2, 2001

Shortly after directing Energy Secretary Abraham to go after "vampire" electrical devices, President Bush issued energy-savings orders for the White House staff.

In a June 28 press release, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer stated that Bush's directives along with completion of building improvements already underway at the White House and Executive Office Building could result in a 25 to 30 percent reduction in energy usage in the "peoples' house."

Motion sensors will be connected to light switches in all conference rooms. The sensors will automatically turn off the lights when everyone has left the room.

All employees have been ordered to turn out the lights in their offices when leaving for extended lengths of time and when leaving for the day.

Thermostats on window-unit air conditioners are to be turned up when leaving the room.

Accent lighting is not to be used when regular overhead lighting is adequate.

Computers not to be used for more than two days are to be turned off.

Building temperatures will be regulated based upon the temperature and humidity relationship. Warmer temperatures will be maintained at lower humidity, with cooler temperature settings used as humidity increases. Temperatures will be maintained between 74 to 78 degrees F.

Halogen lamps of 100 watts or more will be removed.

Exterior lighting for all buildings will not be turned on until dusk.

Portable heaters are not to be used unless minimum conditions cannot be met.

Lights in public areas will be turned off at the conclusion of events, tours, or other activities.

Thermostats for hot water heaters will be set at approximately 105 degrees F.

When any room is not in use, the lights will be turned off, window shades pulled down and doors closed.

The White House complex is also undergoing a major renovation and modernization projects designed to enhance energy efficiency. One major task just completed is the installation of new air conditioning chillers to support the East and West Wings and selected areas of the Old Executive Office Building. The project was initiated by President Bush's father and contracted during the Clinton administration. Fleischer estimates that the new chillers alone will result in a 10 to 12 percent savings.

A longer-term planned project calls for computerizing all buildings through the use of a building management system that will zone the heating, air conditioning and lighting systems. Eventually, up to 400 energy-wasting window unit air conditioning units are scheduled to be eliminated.

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