For Immediate Release - April 18, 2007

GOVERNOR PATRICK SETS AMBITIOUS NEW ENERGY STANDARDS FOR STATE BUILDINGS

Executive Order mandates tough conservation measures and requires greater use of renewable energy in state facilities

BOSTON - Wednesday, April 18 - Joined by Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Sal DiMasi, Governor Deval Patrick today issued an Executive Order setting higher standards for energy efficiency and mandating greater use of renewable energy throughout state government.

The "Leading By Example - Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings" Executive Order raises the Commonwealth's clean energy and efficiency goals in the operation of state buildings. State agencies are responsible for consuming over 1 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, 22 million gallons of heating oil, and 46 million therms of natural gas annually, resulting in emission of 1 million tons of carbon dioxide - the equivalent of 200,000 automobiles.

Given the need to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that cause global climate change, as well as cut electricity costs, throughout the Commonwealth, Governor Patrick insisted that state government "lead by example." That, he said, means doing far more to constrain energy consumption and make use of renewable energy sources.

"In my administration, we intend to practice what we preach," said Governor Patrick. "This Executive Order supersedes all previous administrative actions on energy conservation, and sets the clean energy bar far higher than ever before."

Over the last weekend, approximately 170 light bulbs were changed in the Governor's office. In total 1,000 bulbs will be changed in the State House which will mean $15,000 in savings and a reduction of 56 tons in carbon emissions per year.

Speaker DiMasi said, "Massachusetts is facing an energy crisis and, as leaders in the Commonwealth, we must commit ourselves to reform that encourages the use of clean and renewable energy sources, that cuts our dependence on imported sources of fuel and that drives down costs to businesses and consumers. That will only happen with bold action like the steps we take today and by passing meaningful, comprehensive energy reform this session."

Senate President Therese Murray said, "State leaders have the greatest responsibility to set green policy and I commend Governor Patrick for taking the lead on setting conservation standards for state buildings and switching to cleaner energy. But the public awareness campaign that's being announced today also makes clear that individuals must do their part to be smart energy consumers."

The new Executive Order requires that state agencies:

  • Reduce their overall energy consumption 20 percent by 2012, from 2002 levels, 35 percent by 2020.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent over the next five years, 40 percent by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050.

In order to achieve these goals, state agencies are required to:

  • Obtain 15 percent of their electricity from clean renewable sources by 2012, 30 percent by 2020
  • Use biofuels for 3 percent of heating oil next winter, 5 percent in 2008-09
  • Meet Massachusetts's LEED-Plus green building standards for all new construction and major renovations, and consider energy performance in leasing decisions
  • Reduce potable water use 10 over the next five years, 15 percent by 2020.

Under the new requirements, all facilities larger than 100,000 square feet will have to be retrofitted for energy efficiency by 2012, and small agencies will be allowed to take advantage of utility rebate programs. The Executive Order also prohibits the purchase of incandescent light bulbs in most cases, and requires the purchase of energy efficient products, such as high-efficiency lights, programmable thermostats, and Energy Star-qualified products. In the Executive Order, Governor Patrick also calls for changes in behavior in state offices.

"There will be no more leaving lights on at night or over the weekend," said Governor Patrick.

Governor Patrick announced the new Executive Order, which was filed with the office of Secretary of State William Galvin this morning, at an event on the Grand Staircase of the State House launching a year-long energy efficiency campaign directed at households across the Commonwealth and throughout New England. Under the slogan "Start Small, Save Big," myenergystar.com - a consortium of electric utilities including NSTAR Electric, National GRID, Cape Light Compact, and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. - is asking all consumers to take small steps to reduce their energy consumption and cut the emission of greenhouse gases.

"Our commitment to cost and energy savings starts right here - quite literally - in my office," said Governor Patrick, just after youth volunteers from City Year replaced the incandescent bulbs in his desk lamps with compact fluorescent bulbs, which use a fraction of the electricity. As part of the event Sylvania, a Massachusetts-based company, donated 1,000 compact fluorescent bulbs for use in state buildings. "We will be making these changes in offices throughout the State House. It's a small start, but such small starts add up to big savings - in our pocket books, and for our environment."

Governor Patrick also issued a Proclamation declaring the year beginning April 22 (Earth Day) "The Year of Energy Efficiency."