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Federal Sector





About five percent of BPA’s total electric supply goes to power facilities around the Pacific Northwest that are owned or occupied by federal agencies. These federal facilities range from large military bases to small rural post offices with federal courthouses, office buildings, and other facilities in between. BPA’s federal sector team manages the Energy Smart Federal Partnership (ESFP) with the goal of encouraging energy efficiency in these federal facilities.

To learn more about federal facility energy use, click here.

Energy Smart Federal Partnership (ESFP)
Effective federal energy efficiency requires a partnership. BPA’s ESFP brings that team together. Through ESFP, federal agencies are put in touch with their local serving utility, contractors, financiers, and other resources. Over the past few years, this partnership has saved federal agencies 33 average megawatts (aMW). That’s enough energy to fully power 9,600 typical homes while reducing the federal agencies utility bills (and saving taxpayers) an estimated $14.5 million per year.

ESFP resources include upfront technical assistance (for project planning), coordination with the local utility, and help with budgeting and packaging projects for third party financing. Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC) financing is one way federal agencies can obtain capital for energy efficiency improvements while working within agency budget and funding restrictions. During the implementation of energy-saving measures, ESFP can assist with project oversight or direct project implementation and coordinate project performance verification. Many federal agencies are unable to receive incentive funds from their utilities so ESRP can hold their earned incentives for them. Those funds are held for the agency to invest in additional energy savings in the future. All of these services are available to federal agencies that establish a UESC or other interagency agreement with BPA.

Utility Served Federal (USF) sites
The great majority of federal sites in the Pacific Northwest obtain power from a local utility. The serving utilities include both consumer owned utilities (COUs) and investor owned utilities (IOUs). BPA’s efforts are targeted towards federal facilities served by COUs, but also provide general assistance for agencies with IOU-served sites. Many multi-sited agencies like the Forest Service or Veterans Administration have both kinds of facilities.

COU USF sites may be able to earn incentives for any energy-saving measure for any sector included in BPA's Implementation Manual. Specific measure incentive availability for USF sites is determined by the local serving utility. BPA's federal sector team can assist the agencies with the application process for each site.

Direct Served Federal (DSF) sites
A limited number of Pacific Northwest federal sites take power directly from BPA. These are generally places with significant electric loads including a few military bases and the Department of Energy Hanford site. Each DSF site has an energy efficiency incentive (EEI) of their own. The full range of DSF projects is eligible for incentives. Each federal agency with a DSF site has an Energy Conservation Agreement with BPA and manages their EEI budget.

To learn more about the ESFP Steps to Savings for USF or DSF sites, click here.

No Serving Utility (NSU) sites
There are even federal agency loads that have no serving utility. This includes the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation hydroelectric facilities, most of BPA’s Transmission substations, and other loads that use station service (aka "self supplied power"). Also included in this category are a few Fish and Wildlife Service hatcheries that run off reserve power directly from a Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) hydroelectric facility. Finally, quite a few of the FCRPS hydroelectric facilities were installed with capacity reserved to power federally-established reserve power irrigation districts.

While these sites have no serving utility, they still use FCRPS electricity that would otherwise be available for others. BPA has a new program specifically set up to serve this federal sub-sector. Learn more about Energy Smart Reserve Power.

To request more information on the federal sector click here.



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