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2015 Rating GreenPie chart showing energy plan Performance Key

Energy Plan Implementation

Progress toward Implementation of King County Energy Plan

About this performance measure: In 2010, King County revised its Energy Plan. The plan established energy conservation and renewable energy goals for King County government operations, and set objectives to help meet the goals. The 2012 Strategic Climate Action Plan reinforced the energy goals of the 2010 Energy Plan, and set longer-term facility energy reduction goals for the county.

Energy Goals

  • King County will reduce normalized net energy use from government operations in its buildings and facilities, as compared to a 2007 baseline, by at least 15 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020.
  • Produce, use or procure renewable energy equal to 50 percent of total County energy requirements by 2012.
  • Achieve a 10 percent normalized net reduction in energy use by County vehicles by 2015

King County has mapped a comprehensive strategy for achieving the above goals through its Energy Plan, major elements of which include:

  • Staffing an Energy Task Force and related subcommittees representing all major energy-using departments and divisions in the county to implement the Plan, and establishing a cross-department Energy Strategy Team to work on countywide energy issues
  • Broad adoption of utility accounting software to benchmark facilities and track progress towards energy goals; reporting results to the Executive and department management
  • Broad investments in cost-effective energy projects and technologies to capture savings with both new construction and in existing buildings

Energy Plan Implementation


Renewable Energy And Energy Capture

2014 Update

About this performance measure: In 2014, King County government spent over $28 million dollars on energy to operate its buildings, and over $50 million dollars to fuel it vehicles. Energy efficiency investments and best operating practices continue to offer opportunities to reduce the costs and environmental impact of consuming resources to provide essential government services. County legislation sets measurable performance goals to reduce energy use over a period of years.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Measure 1: Achieve a 15 percent normalized net reduction in energy use countywide by 2015, and 20 percent by 2020 (green).

2014 results: Exceeding the 15 percent normalized energy use reduction in County operations, compared to 2007

Raw energy use in 2014 was down 21.8 percent compared to the county's 2007 baseline. Normalizing facility energy use for recent (milder) weather reduces the calculated reduction. County government as a whole was down 19.9 percent, with a 27.4 decrease for the industrial Wastewater Treatment Division, and a 15.4 percent combined decrease for all other county agencies. The county continued make significant investments in energy efficient technologies in 2014, and new projects are continuing in 2015.

Influencing factors: Investments in efficient technologies are proving to be the key to meeting reduction goals. The Fund to Reduce Energy Demand (FRED) resource loan program was set up in 2014 to provide another financial tool to help fund projects. The FRED effort is funding a number of efficiency projects in a cash flow positive manner. Leadership and operational level commitments to energy savings are driving employee engagement. Staff trainings on methods to save and track savings are building expertise.

Strategy going forward:

  • Make cost-effective energy investments, supported by new financial instruments that facilitate the ability for county agencies to access funding for projects
  • Educate / train staff on energy saving strategies. In 2014, Forty-two staff from across county government attended a comprehensive Building Operator Certification (BOC) training series, which educated them about how to identify energy efficiency opportunities in the county's buildings
  • Conduct and/or update resource efficiency audits in energy intensive county facilities, and develop energy savings action plans for facilities audited
  • Pursue utility grant funding and other funding
  • As quick payback conservation opportunities are captured, begin to look at equipment replacement that is cost effective on a longer term life cycle basis
  • Examine opportunities to capture continuous reductions of energy use through enhanced real-time energy monitoring
Energy Plan Implementation Energy Plan Implementation

Measure 2: Produce, use or procure 50% of King County non-transit energy from renewable sources by 2012 (green)

2014 results on renewable energy
Renewable energy production continued to advance in 2014, strengthened by the first full production year of the new West Point cogeneration system. The large Cedar Hills Regional Landfill gas processing plant, run by BioEnergy Washington (BEW), also had another strong year of gas production, and the South Wastewater Treatment Plant had a significant improvement in production hours compared to 2013. In 2013, the county produced and/or consumed the equivalent of 57.4 percent of the total facility and vehicle fuel energy needs from renewable sources. Although a small contributor to the overall county renewable energy production, the completion of the104 kW solar photovoltaic installed on the King County Aquatic Center was a milestone, as the county's first experience with the installation of a larger scale solar energy system.

Energy Plan Implementation graph, non-transit energy from renewable sources

Measure 3: Achieve a 10 percent normalized net reduction in energy use by County vehicles by 2015 (yellow)

2014 results on vehicle energy use
Normalized vehicle energy use decreased 6.0 percent from 2007 levels. More than 80 percent of the energy used in King County vehicles occurs within Metro Transit. Significant progress has been made in the county administrative vehicle fleet, which has seen an approximately 14% fuel reduction since 2007, offset by increased fuel use for Wastewater's biosolids fleet.

The County is not quite on track, but may be able to reach, its 2015 vehicle energy reduction. The greatest variables are Metro's ridership and its ability to shift additional diesel bus hours to the resource efficient electric trolley fleet.

Energy Plan Implementation graph, energy use by County vehicles

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