Energy Efficiency

Energy Conservation used to mean turning down the thermostat and turning off the lights.  It used to be viewed as an inconvenience rather than good business.  Energy efficiency does not mean reducing energy usage, it means eliminating energy waste. As INL missions expand, we will naturally use more energy to power additional work, however, we will strive to use only what we need so we can become a more sustainable lab. Our mission requires money and energy costs money. Less money spent on energy means more money for laboratory missions.

INL is expecting to meet or exceed the requirements of newly finalized DOE Order 436.1, "Departmental Sustainability" (dated 5/2/11) by reducing our energy intensity 3 percent per year for 10 years beginning in Fiscal Year 2005. That equates to a 30 reduction by the end of Fiscal Year 2015. Energy Intensity means energy use per square foot, so as we use more energy, we intend to use less per square foot.  We can and will do this by eliminating wasted energy.

INL has taken efforts to reduce energy consumption by:

  • Implementing a $33 million project at the Materials and Fuels Complex to completely eliminate fuel oil for heating, improve HVAC controls, install a new efficient compressed air system, and install solar air preheating systems. When completed, this project will eliminate $1.7 million in annual wasted energy costs.

  • Implementing several Federal Energy Management Program funded projects including upgraded lighting throughout the Central Facilities Area, correcting operational problems with HVAC systems, installing new water pumping controls, upgrading boiler controls, installing new efficient air compressors, and installing new automated lighting controls. These project activities have eliminated over $250,000 in annual energy costs.

  • Developing two new projects for continued energy conservation. The first will eliminate inefficiencies in all INL Idaho Falls facilities, while the second will be at three desert site locations. These two projects will focus on lighting and HVAC upgrades, water use reduction, and renewable energy systems installed when cost effective. These two projects are expected to help the INL meet the 30 percent energy reduction goal.

  • Encouraging employees to assist with energy savings by using energy only when needed. The INL Sustainability Program has established a web site and regular employee newsletters to inform our employees about sustainable activities and habits that all employees can embrace to eliminate energy cost waste at work and at home.

  • Ensuring that LEED Gold certification is obtained on major construction projects.  Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the current industry standard for Green Building Validation.  INL is committed to providing our employees with the efficient, comfortable, and safe facilities that come from a LEED Gold certification.

INL takes energy conservation seriously and is approaching energy savings from multiple fronts. A key to our success lies in our employees and their desire to help make the lab a sustainable resource for Idaho Falls and the Nation for years to come.


  Contact Information:
Ernest Fossum  (208) 526-2513   Email Contact
Chris Ischay  (208) 526-4382   Email Contact

Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office