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Building Energy Use

Enterprise Building Energy Use 2018-2022

All state agencies owning buildings report annual electricity and natural gas use to the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) as part of the agency’s State Energy Efficient Design (SEED) program. Reporting is required for buildings 5,000 square feet in size or larger. 

In 2022, total reported building energy use across the enterprise was just over 1.3 billion kBTUs, or thousand British Thermal Units. The kBTU metric is a common unit of energy used to convert and combine other energy measurements such as kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity or therms of natural gas. Each BTU equals the amount of heat needed to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit, and a kBTU equals 1,000 BTU.

Agency Building Energy Use 2018-2022 
While the enterprise saw a slight dip in energy use during the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021, 2022 saw energy use increase and exceed pre-Covid levels. Several variables can affect enterprise energy use including adding or subtracting buildings from the portfolio, weather-related increase in heating or cooling demands, equipment efficiency and building operating hours. 

Twenty-two agencies own their own buildings, ranging from large, multi-building portfolios to single buildings. Some buildings rely only on electricity to meet their lighting, heating and cooling and plug load needs, while others require large amounts of natural gas for heating and hot water. 

Some agencies have reduced their electricity use by upgrading lighting systems to more efficient light emitting diode (LED) lights and setting policies for managing plug loads (equipment that plugs in to a power outlet). Installing more efficient chiller systems for cooling can also save electricity. 

As HVAC heating systems reach their end of life, upgrading to more efficient systems can help reduce natural gas use. Agencies are also directed by state law to evaluate opportunities to fully electrify buildings when conducting major renovations or building new facilities. 

Agencies also evaluate building operating hours, operating temperatures and equipment performance when looking to save energy. 

Under Executive Order 17-20 and House Bill (HB) 3409 from the 2023 session, agencies with buildings over 35,000 square feet in size will be required to set building energy efficiency targets, create energy management plans and regularly maintain building energy systems. 

Blank years with no data indicate an agency did not report energy use for that year.