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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Environmental Sustainability

Energy Management

When we consume energy, we contribute to air pollution and emissions, including greenhouse gases (GHGs). The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving defines three scopes of GHG emissions:
  • Scope 1: Emissions directly emanating from stationary buildings and vehicles.
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from the generation of electricity, heat, or steam purchased and consumed by the IHS for Agency operations.
  • Scope 3: Indirect emissions that are a consequence of activities including, but not limited to, employee travel, transportation of goods to facilities, and disposal of solid waste in landfills.

Thus for energy management, the main concerns for IHS are: 1) building energy efficiency and conservation; 2) equipment energy efficiency and conservation; 3) purchasing and generating renewable energy; and 4) fleet fuel consumption.

IHS energy management objectives:


  • Conduct energy and GHG audits of IHS facilities in accordance with Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) regulations.
  • Evaluate and implement energy conservation measures in IHS facilities, such as: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) efficiency projects; thermal control upgrades; recovery system retrofits; insulation improvements; lighting efficiency projects; efficient air handlers, solar water heating; building envelope improvements; utility data analysis; and other lifecycle cost-effective projects.
  • To better measure energy usage, install advanced utility meters at IHS facilities.
  • Develop projects with tribal and federal partners to increase the amount of renewable energy (such as wind, solar, and geothermal) generated and purchased on IHS property.
  • Develop a comprehensive portfolio of all IHS buildings within Energy Star Portfolio Manager so that energy use reductions can be measured and tracked.


  • Evaluate the IHS fleet and determine where more fuel-efficient vehicles can be purchased and/or leased for agency use; increase the amount and percentage of alternative fuels consumed by IHS fleet vehicles.
  • Reduce the consumption of petroleum products in fleet management.
  • Reduce government-related travel and solid waste contributions to landfills.
  • Increase employee telecommuting and public transportation initiatives.
  • Develop an electronic tracking system to capture flexi-place/telework data.

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is defined as energy produced by natural resources that restore themselves over time and do not diminish. Examples include solar, wind, biomass, methane, hydropower (use of water from rivers, dams, tides, waves), geothermal, ocean thermal, and municipal solid waste.

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Additional Resources:

  • IHS OEHE Energy Documents Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving : Documents include resources for electricity metering, the Energy Policy Act, and the Energy Independence and Security Act.
  • Energy Star Tools and Resources Library Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving : Provides links to Energy Management Guidance, ways to assess Building and Plant Energy Efficiency, ways to assess Commercial Building Designs, ways to improve building performance, and financial evaluation tools.
  • Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving : Facilitates the federal government's implementation of sound, cost-effective energy management and investment practices to enhance the nation's energy security and environmental stewardship.
  • Department of Energy (DOE) Commercial Building Energy Alliance Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving : CBEA invites building owners, managers, and operators to work with the Building Technologies Program (BTP) and with each other to identify and implement best practices, key decision-making tools, and advanced technologies for significant energy savings in their portfolios.

    Renewable Energy

  • Guide to Renewable Energy Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving : Department of Energy website provides information about how to use renewable energy, including biomass energy, geothermal energy, hydrogen, hydropower, ocean energy, solar energy, and wind energy.
  • DOE Tribal Energy Program Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving : Promotes tribal energy sufficiency and fosters employment and economic development on tribal lands.

    Alternative Fuels

  • Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving : Provides information, data, and tools to help fleets and other transportation decision makers find ways to reduce petroleum consumption through the use of alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, and other fuel-saving measures.
  • EPA Clean Fuels Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving : Alternative Fuel Options: Provides links to EPA and non-EPA Web-based resources that provide additional information on transportation and fuels.