Government Wants You to Turn Off Your Lights While They Keep Theirs On

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Jan 26, 2011 11:54 AM
Want to know just how much electricity the federal government wastes each month? How about how much taxpayer money is spent on electricity bills simply because government workers can't figure out how to flip a light switch after they leave for the day?

The staggering figure: A $1 million per month electricity bill for one government building.

From 9NewsNow:
For several months, we kept track of the lights left on in a dozen federal buildings, including the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Transportation and Energy always checking after 10 p.m., each on at least six occasions.

Just how much are the federal agencies electricity bills costing you, the taxpayer? First, using the Freedom of Information Act, we requested six months of utility bills for the headquarters buildings of more than a dozen agencies. Then, we asked taxpayers to estimate the price of one month in one building.

The low end is about $200,000 a month. The high end more than a million. One month's electricity bill at the Department of Labor topped a MILLION dollars. That was a bill paid in July of last year. The month before, the department paid a bill of nearly $700,000. And utility costs of that magnitude are not unusual.

"Turning off the lights is about the simplest way that the government can save money. There is no excuse not to do this on a regular basis," said Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste.