Sandia Labs News Releases

Sandia engineer named DOE Energy Pioneer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Department of Energy named Chris Evans an Energy Pioneer for his work in identifying and implementing energy conservation practices at Sandia National Laboratories.

The award recognizes people who go above and beyond their jobs in energy management for the federal government. Evans has been involved in DOE’s energy savings program since he was tapped in 2003 to head the Sandia conservation effort, which includes all the Labs’ sites.

Chris Evans heads up Sandia's effort to cut energy consumption in its buildings. His team has helped the Labs cut energy usage by more than 250 billion BTUs in the past six years. (Photo by Randy Montoya) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

Sandia’s goal is to cut energy intensity, or BTUs per square foot, by 30 percent from 2006 through 2015 using a 2003 baseline, and reduce greenhouse gases 28 percent by 2020. To get there, the Labs must lower energy consumption in its buildings by about 30 billion BTUs a year, or the amount of energy used by about 300 households.

“Sandia is more than halfway there and right on track to meet the goal,” said Evans, who works in Sandia’s Facilities Management and Operations Center (FMOC), Partnership and Planning Dept. 4853, and is Resource Conservation lead for the Labs’ Energy Management program. His team works with project managers, operations engineers and maintenance personnel in FMOC to implement new conservation programs and install energy-saving equipment.

During the past six years, the FMOC team, working with mission customers, has helped Sandia cut energy usage by more than 250 billion BTUs.

“What we’ve done so far has been a big success,” said Evans, who has been with Sandia since 1988.  “We’ve come up with some pretty innovative projects.”

Jack Mizner, department manager, said the energy projects are driven by a desire to reduce costs to Sandia’s customers and to be a good corporate citizen. “I think it is incumbent on us as a national lab to do the most we can and be a leader in energy management.”

He said four strategies guide the effort. “Use less, use what we have efficiently, use renewable energy, and tell people about it. That’s a thumbnail sketch of our energy management program.”

“Free cooling” has saved the most BTUs for Sandia. The process uses cold, dry outside air in late fall, winter and early spring to chill water for air conditioning systems in data centers, which need year-round refrigeration.

Other savings have been achieved through sophisticated controls on lighting, air flow, heating and cooling of buildings. “We’ve really been pushing the envelope on converting our buildings from old-style, analog controls to new, digital controls,” Evans said. “It is demand-based, only using the power we need.”

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Nancy Salem,, (505) 844-2739