Department of Justice

Going green for Federal Prison Facilities

As an employee for the Federal Prison System, and working at FCI Ft Dix, I have noticed possible ways for the Prison to save costs on energy and water consumption, that not only can save for this institution, but other institutions across the country. The Bureau of Prisons has 116 facilities and houses approximately 217,137 inmates. When looking at the population number, that can be viewed as a small city population, which may not seem like much, but when it comes to the consumption of water and energy that number can be very costly. There are always ways to reduce waste and conserve water and energy, but at times it is easily forgotten. There are of course ways to conserve energy and water consumption and costs, which can have high costs for replacing existing equipment, but in the long run can save on water, energy and cost over a period of time. For example, a running faucet utilizes 2.5 gallons of water per minute, which at times inmates can leave faucets and showers running when they are not in use. You can imagine how much water is wasted during this time and the cost of the usage because of carelessness. Existing sinks can be replaced with automation and controls that regulate water usage and prevents the faucet from remaining on after use. Waterless urinals can be utilized, which can reduce water consumption, sewage and maintenance and also save 40,000 gallons of water per fixture per year. Using water efficient products and fixtures can reduce water consumption by 15%, energy by 10% and operating costs by 12%. Solar power can also be utilized to reduce energy costs and maintenance. Solar thermal systems can be utilized to save energy on water heating, and photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can be used to reduce energy costs for lighting and other energy consuming systems utilized within the prison facilities. Lighting sensors inside the units can also be utilized to reduce the usage of lighting when a certain area is not being utilized.

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Idea No. 11898