Governor Patrick Announces Ambitious Region-Wide Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Goals
Seeks to seize regional clean energy economic opportunities
"As the region that started the Industrial Revolution, the Northeast can also be the region that leads the world in a clean energy revolution," said Governor Patrick. "By coming together to announce aggressive regional energy efficiency goals and ramping up renewable energy, we will grow clean energy jobs, enhance our energy security, and improve the air we breathe."
Meeting in Lenox, the Governors and Premiers agreed to establish a goal to reduce energy use in buildings by at least 20 percent by 2020 and adopt the highest energy efficiency building codes to promote energy savings. Additionally, the Governors and Premiers agreed to examine implementation of a regional low carbon fuel standard - a market based, technology-neutral policy to reduce the carbon intensity (and greenhouse gas impact) of transportation fuels.
The New England Governors separately agreed to petition the US Department of Energy to establish a nation-leading 90 percent efficiency standard for natural gas and propane furnaces in New England, which will save the average household $3,600 in fuel costs over the life of a furnace. The Governors also agreed to work together to promote the solar industry by coordinating state policies and establishing a specific goal for solar installations in New England by 2020. In 2008, Governor Patrick announced a statewide goal of installing 250MW of solar by 2017 - a policy that has catalyzed a 20-fold increase in solar installations over four years, while more than doubling the number of solar jobs in Massachusetts.
"Governor Patrick has used his chairmanship of the New England Governors Association to accelerate the momentum behind our growing clean energy industry - and the economic, environmental and energy benefits our focus on it brings," Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles said.
In addition to taking action on energy-related issues, the New England Governors reaffirmed their commitment to regional land conservation, preserving land for ecosystem protection, agriculture, and recreation. In Massachusetts, Governor Patrick has led the most ambitious land conservation program in the state's history, preserving 75,000 acres.
In related action, 11 Mid-Atlantic and New England Governors, led by Governor Patrick, today sent a letter to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressing their opposition to establishing new national electric transmission policy, as encompassed in the pending American Clean Energy Leadership Act. The Governors wrote that the transmission approach embodied in the Senate proposal "threatens to undermine the significant renewable energy potential along the East Coast by subsidizing distant terrestrial wind resources which would stifle economic recovery and growth in the East by destabilizing competitive electricity market structures and increasing energy prices in regulated markets." The Governors' letter noted that the build-out of a national transmission corridor - estimated to cost at least $160 billion, "would harm regional efforts to promote local renewable energy generation...and hamper efforts to create clean energy jobs in our states."