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On energy, let government do what it preaches

The federal government, which uses lots of energy, preaches conservation, but it is not known for having thermal insulation for the energy and water systems in its buildings. Let an analysis of the potential benefits proceed.

Published: Friday, June 27, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

The federal government, through the U.S. Department of Energy, has preached energy conservation for years.

A congressman who represents part of the Sauk Valley wants to see that the government practices what it preaches.

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-16th District, is interested in finding out how much savings the federal government could realize if it installs thermal insulation for energy and water systems in federal buildings.

You know, insulating water pipes, as the Energy Department has been telling us to do for years on Energy.gov.

The website informs Americans that “[i]nsulating water pipes can save you water, energy, and money.”

Such insulation helps the hot water stay hot, and the cold water stay cold, so people need not stand at the sink letting the water run until they get the desired temperature.

Because the federal government is “the single largest consumer of energy in the U.S.,” Kinzinger proposed that the Energy Department study the potential savings if energy and water systems were insulated in federal buildings.

Kinzinger’s bill, the Thermal Insulation Efficiency Improvement Act, was approved this week by a voice vote of House members.

In a news release, Kinzinger said energy savings could be significant. He said estimates show that thermal insulation, over its lifetime, can save up to 500 times the initial costs.

But no one will know for certain what the potential savings might be until a nationwide analysis is conducted.

We like the idea of saving money and resources.

We also like the idea that the federal government should be made to practice what it preaches.

The bill’s fate is now up to the Senate. We encourage its prompt approval.

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