Municipal Government Facilities

Municipal governments are responsible for overseeing a diverse array of buildings and facilities, including large and small administrative buildings, libraries, indoor and outdoor recreation centers, schools, and wastewater treatment plants. In addition, they are typically responsible for streetlights, parking structure lights, and traffic signals. This article examines energy consumption and savings opportunities for office buildings and outdoor lighting, which represent a significant portion of controllable energy use and offer opportunities for cost-effective energy savings.

In a typical office building, lighting, heating, and cooling represent almost 70% of total energy use (Figure 1), making those systems the best targets for energy savings. Energy represents about 19% of total expenditures for the typical office building, which is a significant operational cost that deserves attention from facility management.

Average energy use data

Figure 1: Energy consumption by end use
In municipal facilities, ventilation and computers dominate national electricity end uses, and heating accounts for more than 80% of natural gas consumption.
Pie chart showing electricity end uses: Ventilation, 22%; Computers, 22%; Miscellaneous, 22%; Lighting, 17%; Cooling, 12%; and Office, 5%.
Pie chart showing natural gas end uses: Heating, 86%; Water heating, 10%; and Cooking, 4%.

Streetlighting plays an important role in enhancing public safety and aesthetics. However, it can account for as much as 40% of a municipality’s electric bill. Converting older lighting technologies to LEDs or other advanced technologies is one way that municipalities can reduce costs while enhancing the nighttime landscape.

Quick fixes
Longer-term solutions
Content last reviewed: 
04/18/2017