Jimmy Carter photo

Memorandum From the President on Reduction in Energy Use by the Federal Government

April 10, 1979

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
Subject: Required 5% Reduction in Agency Energy Use

The U.S. has taken the lead to get the member nations of the International Energy Agency to reduce petroleum consumption. Our goal, as part of this commitment, is to reduce oil imports by a level equal and up to 5% of projected domestic consumption. This goal must be met to help reduce the upward pressure on world oil prices.

The Federal Government will do its part. I am directing that Executive departments and agencies reduce energy consumption by 5% for the twelve-month period beginning April 1, 1979, as compared with the preceding twelve months.

In achieving this reduction, the following specific actions are to be taken:

• Set thermostats in all Federally operated buildings, except where required for health and safety or special purposes, at not more than 65 degrees during working hours and 55 degrees during nonworking hours for the heating season and at not lower than 80 degrees for the cooling season.

• Reduce use of all automotive fuels by 10%.

Each agency will have to take additional steps to achieve the full 5% reduction goal. These initiatives should be selected so as to avoid adverse programmatic impacts. As directed in my February 2, 1979 memorandum, for example, heads of agencies may reduce lighting and other electrical use throughout agency activities and reduce petroleum use by eliminating unnecessary activities and vehicle trips. Credit will be given for fuel switching from oil to gas or coal.

Within 30 days, please submit to the Secretary of Energy a plan for achieving the reduction in energy use. Each agency that now reports quarterly energy consumption to the Secretary of Energy should identify in the quarterly status reports the actual energy savings attributable to this effort.

I have directed the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget, to monitor compliance with the provisions of this directive. They will periodically report to me on accomplishments, problems with respect to adverse impacts on agency missions, and further actions which may be required.


Note: This is the text of identical memorandums addressed to the heads of executive departments and agencies. The memorandum to the Secretary of Defense concludes with an additional paragraph, which reads as follows:

"Department of Defense operational readiness activities are exempt from this directive."

Jimmy Carter, Memorandum From the President on Reduction in Energy Use by the Federal Government Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249789

Simple Search of Our Archives