Energy Management

The Postal Service is on track to comply with the Energy Independence Security Act of 2007, which mandates a 30 percent cut in facility energy use and a 20 percent cut in vehicle fuel consumption by 2015.

A National Energy Management Plan was published in November 2008 to document the efforts of the business units to reduce energy consumption and costs. The plan includes high-level objectives for facility energy management, fleet management, fuel strategy, utilities management, and energy conservation and awareness in the Postal Service.

Postal Service energy expenses amounted to $2 billion in 2009. Transportation consumes 75 percent with the balance spent on utilities. Energy initiatives focused on developing a common energy strategy for the organization and improving data quality. Transparency in overall consumption and cost will lead to significant improvements in energy management. Wise investments in energy efficient equipment today will repay their debt continuously over time.

The 500 largest buildings account for over half of energy consumption. The next 1,500 facilities represent 70-80 percent of total energy consumption. The Utility Management System program, which captures energy consumption and cost data and is a central bill verification and payment system, was expanded to those sites.


Energy costs for utilities were $627 million a 3 percent decrease compared to the same period last year. Ongoing efforts to control energy costs include energy audits, capital improvements to reduce energy usage, as well as many low-cost actions, such as resetting thermostats and repairing existing systems.


The Postal Service consistently looks for ways to reduce the environmental impact of its fleet of 220,000 vehicles, the largest and greenest civilian fleet in the world. Its lead-free wheel weight initiative, which removed 17 tons of lead from the environment, received a National Partnership for Environmental Priorities Award from the EPA and was selected by the Department of Energy as a 2009 Best Practice in Sustainable Environmental Stewardship. The Postal Service was also recognized with a number of regional environmental awards throughout the nation for pollution prevention activities at vehicle maintenance and mail processing facilities.


The Postal Service generated $5 million in revenue through aggressive recycling and waste prevention. A key step was the establishment of a recycling volume baseline for backhaul programs. In these programs, recyclable materials are returned to central collection locations where larger volumes of recyclables can be accumulated and greater revenues realized. For example, this year the Postal Service expanded its recycling program in New York City to include mixed paper and cardboard, resulting in nearly 400 tons of materials recycled each month. Since last October Post Offices in New York City recycled 2,770 tons of mixed paper and cardboard, an increase of 1,861 tons, or nearly triple what was recycled the previous year.

The Postal Service aggressively expanded its successful pilot lobby mail recycling program to reduce waste disposal costs, increase recycling revenue, and help meet customers’ environmental expectations. Currently, 6,000 Post Offices feature secure lobby recycling containers that carry the message “Read, Respond, Recycle Your Mail.”

Did you know? All Express Mail and Priority Mail packages are eco-friendly.

The Postal Service, in partnership with businesses and government entities, has made it easier for customers to dispose of unused or unwanted products that could be harmful to the environment by creating mail-back solutions to ship the items to recyclers. Included in the program are computer equipment, printer supplies, cell phones, rechargeable and alkaline batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs, prescription drugs, and medical sharps.