Energy Use

The consumption of fossil fuels is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption is directly linked to the organization’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy Use


The Ecology Headquarters and SWRO Building was originally awarded the Silver LEED-EB certification in 2005. Since that time improvements have been ongoing and continuous to reduce our carbon footprint and save resources.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Award

In 2009 Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire challenged Ecology to reduce our emissions, save public resources and serve as a model for other state agencies. In response, Ecology launched the Carbon Smart Initiative — focused on finding new opportunities to reduce costs and shrink our carbon footprint.

As part of the Carbon Smart Initiative, Ecology partnered with an Energy Services firm and performed an in-depth energy audit of our three owned facilities – Lacey, Spokane and Padilla Bay. Out of their findings, Ecology selected the projects that would save the most energy and had the best payback. The projected annual utility savings as a result of the Energy Upgrades are $103,965. The projected annual operational savings as a result of the Energy Upgrades are $25,605.

Ecology is currently reporting natural gas, fuel oil, propane, biomass, on-site renewable generated ethanol, gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, and aviation fuel.

Fiscal Year 2011 Direct Energy Use

Gasoline and Ethanol GallonsGigajoules
Gasoline: Agency Leased Vehicles (MP Perm) 2,776 
Gasoline: Temporary Leased Vehicles (MP Daily Trips) 181 
Gasoline: Agency Owned Vehicles (AOV) 174,859 
Gasoline Calculated from POV Reimbursement (20.5 average fuel economy) 17,348 
Total Gasoline and Ethanol for Vehicle Use 195,164 
Total Gasoline and Ethanol for All Uses 195,164 24395.50
Petroleum Diesel Gallons Gigajoules
Petroleum Diesel (2% Biodiesel) for Vehicle Use 10,353 
Petroleum Diesel for Buildings and fixed equipment use 690 
Total Petroleum Diesel 11,043 1523.93
Natural Gas Therms Gigajoules
Natural Gas Use: Agency Owned Space 43,287  
Natural Gas Use: Agency Leased Space 9,907 
Total Natural Gas for all uses 53,194 5611.97
Fuel Oil Gallons Gigajoules
Total Fuel Oil for all uses 1,540 221.76
Total FY 2011 Direct Energy Use ----- 31,753.16

Fiscal Year 2011 Indirect Energy Consumption

An electric meter
Electricity Conventional(kWh) On-site Renewable Energy Generated (kWh) Energy Offsets Purchased (kWh) Total Indirect Energy (kWh)
9,766,123 23,730 1,175,937 10,965,790

In Washington State a high proportion of electricity is produced from hydroelectric facilities located on the Columbia River. Ecology’s onsite renewable generation comes from a 21 kW photovoltaic array at our Padilla Bay facility. For FY11 Ecology purchased energy offsets from a variety of renewable sources totaling 1,175,937 kWh.

Ecology Saves $1.2 Million Over Five Years Through Virtualization

In 2010 a compute and storage virtualization effort to reduce operating costs and meet state priorities was launched.

At the start of this project in December 2010, Ecology had 115 physical servers in Lacey. At present there are 38 physical servers remaining. The initial investment for these efforts was about $400,000. Return on investment payback period is expected to be twenty months.

Estimated savings over five years is about $1.2 million. These savings reflect cost avoidance in the physical server purchases, related software licenses, and power and cooling costs.