Multiple scientific studies conclude that the most effective way to lower costs and decrease energy consumption result from incorporating efficiency standards into existing systems. This can be accomplished through cost-effective system upgrades as well as efficient operation and maintenance practices.

In fiscal year 2009, Navy and Marine Corps shore installations reduced energy consumption per gross square foot by 15.2 percent relative to the 2003 baseline, exceeding the 12 percent interim goal for the year per the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This can largely be attributed to efficiency projects and operational improvements.