Energy & Water

The NPS Energy and Water Management Program works to reduce energy and water consumption throughout the NPS and provides guidance to parks in order to increase energy and water efficiency. The program is responsible for assisting parks in improving the sustainability of NPS facilities, tracking and reporting performance data, and promoting the use of renewable energy resources and alternative fuels.

Energy and Water Consumption Monitoring

The NPS produces an annual energy report that provides a snapshot of how NPS is performing against goals set out in Executive Order 13423, 13514, and EISA.  Specifically, the report summarizes data about total annual consumption of energy and water, associated costs, and estimated green house gas (GHG) emissions.  The NPS uses this information to understand year-over-year changes in facility energy intensity (energy management), eligible renewable electricity use as a percentage of total electricity use (renewable energy requirement), reduction in potable water consumption intensity (water intensity reduction goal), metering of electricity use, and percent of new building designs that meet the Federal Building Energy Efficiency Standard.

Preparing this report is an intensive effort that requires inputs from parks and other sources.  Each year, the NPS energy reporting process covers the following steps:

  • Parks provide annual reports for each fiscal year by the end of October through the energy management database.
  • Washington Support Office (WASO) reviews and models data to create an annual energy report.

Energy and Water Audits

The NPS has been conducting contracted energy and water audits at parks throughout the Service. This effort is both required to meet federal mandates and will provide parks with useful information concerning their energy and water consumption and progress towards meeting performance targets as well as preserving resources. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) requires federal agencies to conduct energy and water evaluations at facilities that together consume at least 75% of agency-wide energy use ("covered facilities"). The NPS has 75 covered facilities, or parks, which it audits on a rolling 4-year cycle.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

In 2009 and 2010, the NPS received funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support renewable energy and energy conservation projects. Over the two years, the NPS installed and began operating 16 photovoltaic systems and made energy efficiency improvements in over 40 buildings Servicewide. Other renewable energy projects include the installation of a wind turbine in an Alaska park. Additionally, many other parks completed smaller projects such as installing solar lights in parking lots and completing lighting retrofitting projects. Together, these projects reduced annual energy consumption (BTU per square foot) by 9.29% Servicewide, and generate nearly 350,000 kWh of renewable energy—both supporting our economic recovery and saving valuable taxpayer dollars. For project highlights, click here.

Past Project: Energy Smart PARKS Highlights

The 2008-2009 Energy SmartPARKs program implemented and showcased sustainable energy practices in national parks to inspire a green energy future for America. Through a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Park Service (NPS) and the DOE expanded their ongoing partnership by establishing this program.

Through the program, parks deployed cutting-edge technology as well as traditional solutions, including projects that retrofit lighting systems, purchase electric utility vehicles, install solar panel systems, upgrade meters and thermostats, replace windows and furnaces, study the feasibility of wind power, and conduct energy audits. Lessons learned from these projects can be used in other national parks and in the homes of every American. In addition, the partnership provided theNPS with technical advice from DOE’s energy experts.

As of January 2009, 13 parks in 11 states had projects ongoing through the Energy SmartPARKS program along with a one Servicewide lighting project.

Park State Project Title
Tumacacori National Historical Park (TUMA) AZ Install Energy Efficient Windows In Two Buildings
Cabrillo National Monument (CABR) CA Replace 3 Windows in Admin Building
Mojave National Preserve (MOJA) CA Install Solar System at Desert Studies Center
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) HI Upgrade Outdoor Lighting at Visitor Facilities
Fort Larned National Historic Site (FOLS) KS Lighting in Museum,  Admin and Maintenance
Cape Cod National Seashore (CACO) MA Wind Feasibility Study
Lowell National Historic Park (LOWE) MA Energy Metering and selected Energy Conservation
Isle Royale National Park (ISRO) MI  Back Country PV
Pipestone National Monument (PIPE) MN Electric Utility Vehicle for Resource Management
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (JEFF) MO Replace 10 Old Electric Hand Dryers
Servicewide n/a Update National Park Service Lighting Guide
Chickasaw National Recreation Area (CHIC) OK Improve Energy Efficiency of Historic Building
Independence National Historical Park (INDE) PA Solar Panels at Living History Center
George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) VA Install P/V street lights at Daingerfield Island