Letter from FEMP's Program Manager: Creating an Open Forum and Gaining Momentum (article from FEMP Focus Special Issue 2006)

February 27, 2006

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to introduce myself as the new Program Manager of the Federal Energy Management Program. Since my first day at FEMP, a number of major challenges have arisen for federal energy managers, including the more stringent requirements of the new Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Presidential directive issued to federal agencies to conserve natural gas, electricity, gasoline, and diesel fuel after hurricanes Katrina and Rita threatened our natural gas and fuel supplies.

I am extremely pleased by the tremendous agency response to the Presidential memorandum on energy and fuel conservation. Agencies were charged with reviewing existing conservation programs, identifying and implementing additional ways to reduce overall fuel use, and reporting back on actions taken by their agencies within 30 days of the memorandum. The long list and wide variety of actions reported by federal agencies, which you can read about in this special issue of FEMP Focus, show that the federal government is taking a strong lead in this initiative.

As part of this effort, I enthusiastically encourage open communication to share our best practices and increase partnerships, not only with our private sector partners, but also with other agencies. We are all equal partners and leaders in the eyes of FEMP—not just the largest agency customers or biggest energy users. Every agency has much to contribute to this effort. I ask every individual in the federal government to capitalize on this momentum we have created in response to the Presidential memorandum. We must continue to apply these practices on a permanent basis to help us meet our new energy management goals and challenges.

For example, in this issue you will read about Energy Saving Expert Teams (ESET), which were quickly dispatched to provide energy assessments and audit services to federal sites directly affected by the hurricanes, as well as sites with high potential for natural gas savings. This has proven to be an extremely successful service for agencies, offered by FEMP when we are facing potential energy shortages and price spikes. I am currently working to find a way to overcome funding barriers in order to make the ESET a permanent service we can offer every year.

My vision is that through its results-oriented coordination across agencies and need-specific offers of specialized services and tools, FEMP leads the federal government to a level where each federal agency is a leader in its own right through creative and efficient management of its energy and resource consumption.

I am excited to learn of other new ideas and suggestions from agencies on ways we can improve FEMP's services as well as our communication with one another. I encourage agencies to contact me directly to discuss these issues. I look forward to the new partnerships we will create in the coming months and achieving our new goals, working together to lead by example.

Lastly, Energy 2006 will be held August 6-9, 2006 in Chicago. I invite you to visit our web site to learn more about what this ninth annual premier workshop will feature to assist you with meeting the needs of your programs and enhancing your professional growth.

Rick Khan
FEMP Program Manager