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State  Last Updated: Jul 19th, 2010 - 17:14:52

State to Become More Energy Efficient
By SUSSEX COUNTY ONLINE
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Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed an Executive Order requiring state agencies to become more energy efficient on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010.

 

The Governor said the order will foster economic development while reducing the impact of State government on the environment and reducing operating expenses.

 

"State government is becoming far more energy and cost efficient. This executive order puts significant markers and milestones to gauge that effort and requires real progress," said Markell. "We are eliminating unnecessary energy and resource costs while also improving air quality, reducing carbon emissions, and strengthening Delaware's economic competitiveness."

The executive order sets goals in five key areas:

  • Energy conservation and efficiency - All State executive branch agencies will aim to achieve an overall reduction in energy consumption of at least 10% by the end of fiscal year 2011, 20% by fiscal year 2013, and 30% by fiscal year 2015 as compared with fiscal year 2008.
  • Construction - The State will integrate the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) practices into construction, renovation, and facility operation. Where reasonable, agencies will aim for LEED Silver standards.
  • Renewable energy - At least 20% of the annual electricity demand for buildings owned or operated by the State executive branch should come from clean, renewable sources by the end of fiscal year 2012, increasing to 30% by the end of fiscal year 2013.
  • Transportation - All agencies will reduce expenses by reducing petroleum consumption by 25%, vehicle emissions by 25%, and vehicle miles traveled by 15% by the end of fiscal year 2012 as compared with fiscal year 2008.
  • Recycling - All State executive branch agencies will aim to achieve a 75% rate of diverted waste from landfills by the end of fiscal year 2012.
  • Procurement - The State will implement a cost-effective sourcing policy to reduce impact on the environment and use less toxic substances.

"Being more environmentally responsible can produce real savings," said Collin O'Mara, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). "Moving towards clean energy, greater recycling, and LEED building standards will reduce costs for years to come and improve environmental performance at the same time."

Energy usage and facility performance will be benchmarked and tracked in order to prioritize the most cost-effective improvement projects. Each agency will be responsible for implementing conservation practices such as Green Computing Practices, thermostat controls and the elimination of unnecessary lighting. Upgrades to building systems will be funded through federal stimulus funds, proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction, and financing administered by the SEU as announced in January.

 

Increasing the percentage of energy originating from renewable sources will further reduce the State's carbon footprint, while also helping to drive local economic development. The State will leverage its purchasing power and partnerships with other buyers to secure cleaner energy supplies at competitive long-term costs. This commitment can help build the market for renewables, bring down costs and create jobs for Delawareans.

 

Anne Visalli, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the state reduced its fleet by more than 800 vehicles but that more than 61 million miles and 5.8 million gallons of fuel are used annually at a cost of $13.2 million.

 

"State government must become a leader in environmental stewardship because it makes good business sense," said Visalli  "Transitioning to alternative fuels and vehicles with high fuel economy, while further reducing State travel, will have a real impact on the bottom line as well as on air quality."

 

"Around our world, across our nation, and throughout our state, the economy is changing," added Markell.  "We must seek out creative ways to cut costs and prepare our people and our businesses to compete in the rapidly approaching clean-energy reality.  The State government must lead by example."  



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