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 Home > News & Policies > June 2001

June 28, 2001

White House Energy Savings Plan

President Bush is firmly committed to expanding and promoting energy conservation.  He believes  the federal government should set an example for all Americans by finding innovative ways to increase efficiency, and is starting the efforts at the People's House. -- Ari Fleischer.

President Bush instructed all federal government agencies to review energy use and develop a plan to reduce energy consumption.

The White House has completed a review and has begun taking steps to conserve energy.  The following actions to reduce energy consumption and improve building and equipment conditions could result in an estimated 25% to 35% reduction in energy usage.


  • Installation of new air conditioning chillers to support the East and West Wings and selected areas of the Old Executive Office Building.
  • Former President Bush initiated this plan, the contract was awarded during the Clinton administration and the action was completed during the present Administration.
  • The White House anticipates a 10% - 12% savings as a result of this modernization.


  • The White House will begin to implement a series of administrative actions helping each member of the staff contribute to the conservation effort.
  • With the diligent implementation of these immediate changes, we anticipate a 3%-5% reduction in energy consumption.
  • These actions include:

    • The installation of motion switches for lights in conference rooms.
    • Turn out lights when leaving the office for an extended time and at the end of the day.
    • Turn up the thermostat on window air conditioners in the EEOB upon departure.
    • Do not use accent lighting where more efficient overhead lighting is adequate.
    • Turn off monitors at the close of business each day
    • Turn off computers if it will not be in use for two or more days.
    • Building Engineers will regulate temperatures based upon the temperature and humidity relationship.  (This could mean that temperatures might be 78 degrees at 50% humidity but 74 degrees at 80% humidity.)
    • Remove halogen lamps of 100 watts or more from EOP buildings.
    • Delay the turn-on time for exterior lighting for all buildings until dusk each day.
    • Eliminate the use of portable heaters unless minimum conditions cannot be met.
    • Turn off lights in public areas at the conclusion of events, tours, or other activities.
    • Set thermostats for hot water heaters at approximately 105 degrees F.
    • Turn off lights, pull down shades, and close doors for rooms not in use.
    • For computerized spaces, re-program them to allow the rooms not in use to have a higher temperature setting in the summer and a cooler setting in the winter.
    • Keep all windows closed when not required to be open.


  • The White House will continue to renovate and modernize buildings in the White House Complex to make them more energy efficient.
  • These mid term changes could result in a 5% reduction in energy consumption.
  • Install motion switches for lights in all offices.
  • Continue replacement of equipment, such as motors and pumps, with new equipment that is more energy efficient.
  • Upgrade lighting with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and other more efficient systems wherever feasible.
  • Proceed with the HVAC upgrade for the eleven Jackson Place Townhouses.
  • Install energy efficient doors wherever possible.


  • President Bush plans to initiate a significant modernization of the buildings on the White House grounds, providing energy savings for years to come. Many of the proposed projects will require Congressional action.

These renovations include:

  • Modernize the EEOB electrical and mechanical systems to eliminate the approximate 400 window air conditioners and improve the primary and secondary electrical distribution.
  • Computerize the all buildings through the use of a building management system that will zone the HVAC and lighting systems.
  • Change the switching for the overhead lights so that two switches in each office controls approximately 50 percent of the lighting on each switch, allowing office inhabitants to use only the light necessary for the actual task.
  • Install more high performance insulated glass wherever possible.