Department of Energy

No Suits and Ties in the Summer

Federal government buildings are kept incredibly cool in the summer - one could even say the temperature inside Federal buildings is downright cold in June, July, and August! Constituents and citizens entering the buildings wearing typical summer-wear are quickly shivering. The Federal government uses an enormous amount of power to keep government buildings so cold in the summer. High power usage costs the government money and increases the government’s carbon footprint.

 

The biggest reason why air conditioning is kept so very high is that it is the only way to keep employees who are wearing full suits comfortable enough to work. Federal employees are forced, sometimes by written dress codes and sometimes by tradition, to dress in a manner completely unsuitable for the summer months. In order to efficiently complete their jobs while wearing suit jackets, long-sleeve shirts, heavy slacks, and ties in 90+ degree weather, the air conditioning is kept on incredibly low temperatures at all times.

 

Therefore, I propose that the Federal Government enacts a business casual dress code during the summer months. This would allow employees to be more comfortable on hot and humid days, and more importantly, would allow the government to increase thermostats in federal buildings by several degrees and thereby use less air conditioning, leading to money saved and a reduced carbon footprint. The Japanese government implemented a similar approach several years ago, and in the intervening years has realized significant monetary savings.

 

I urge the Federal Government to tell employees: "leave the suits and ties at home!"

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Idea No. 6165