Federal agencies running up big utility bills (Video)
Updated 4:53 p.m. ET
Big kudos to WUSA-TV reporter Andrea McCarren, who works the late shift and noticed that most large federal buildings in downtown Washington leave the lights on after hours.
In a report that aired Monday night, McCarren kept tabs on the electricity habits of the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Transportation.
Using Freedom of Information Act requests, she discovered that most of the departments paid at least $200,000 monthly in utility costs.
A Labor Department utility bill topped $1 million last July. The Department of Health and Human Services paid a bill last August for $799,000.
To help prove her point, two buildings housing the Federal Aviation Administration -- which is part of the Transportation Department -- were almost completely illuminated behind McCarren as she reported live on Monday night.
The buildings are owned and operated by the General Services Administration, according to a DOT spokeswoman. The Transportation headquarters a few blocks away uses a green roof to help heat and cool the building and a lighting system that is programmed to shut off on nights and weekends, she said.
Either way, it's a great bit of accountability journalism that will get tongues wagging. Watch her full report in the video above.
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| January 25, 2011; 3:09 PM ET
Categories: Agencies and Departments, Oversight
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