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California Program Aims to Slash Energy Use in State Buildings by 20 Percent

September 2006 - Energy Efficiency

State officials and California's investor-owned utilities have announced plans to significantly increase the level of energy efficiency in state-owned buildings.

The goal of the new program is to reduce energy consumption in public-sector buildings by 20 percent by 2015, a mandate from Governor Schwarzenegger's Green Building Initiative (Executive Order S-20-04), which encourages the private sector to do the same.

Under the deal, the Department of General Services (DGS) will collaborate with Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co. to implement nearly $17 million worth of energy-saving programs in state facilities.

The energy programs will focus on dozens of the state's largest office buildings, several prisons and a number of smaller buildings such as Department of Motor Vehicles field offices, according to the California Department of General Services.

The State Government Center Building, in San Bernardino, is one of approximately 1,000 state-owned facilities under review by the California Department of General Services and investor-owned utilities as candidates for energy-saving programs.

"As our buildings age, energy systems don't work as efficiently as they could," says State and Consumer Services Agency Secretary Rosario Marin, Chair of the Green Action Team. "Retrocommissioning and retrofitting buildings such as the one where we are gathered today will ensure that energy systems are running at top efficiency. We'll not only save energy but tax dollars as well."

"There are many energy-saving programs administered by California's investor-owned utilities that the private sector can take advantage of," Marin said. "We encourage businesses to follow the state's lead in working with their investor-owned utility to access these programs. The environment wins and so will their bottom line."


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