Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has introduced an amendment to energy efficiency legislation that is designed to reduce energy costs by requiring federal workers to turn the lights out in their offices when they leave at the end of the day.
The amendment directs the Secretary of Energy to issue guidelines to all federal agencies to reduce energy costs by requiring federal employees to turn off the lights and other devices that consume energy when they are not being used.
These guidelines apply to the use of lights and devices in individuals’ work places, not lights or devices intended for safety or security which obviously are in use even when an area is unoccupied by an employee.
According to a statement from Coburn, the U.S. government is the largest energy consumer in the country. Despite a growing number of energy efficiency projects by multiple agencies and departments energy spending by the federal government has increased to more than $20 billion a year. Approximately $7 billion is spent to light, heat and cool federal buildings.
Coburn said that checks conducted by his staff revealed that many lights stay on after offices close. Some of the worst offending agencies were HHS, USDA, Education, and EPA.