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Governor Lamont Signs Order Directing State Agencies to Reduce Energy Consumption and Environmental Impacts

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed an executive order – his first since being sworn into office earlier this year – that directs executive branch state office buildings and vehicle fleets to become greener and more energy efficient through an expanded “Lead By Example” sustainability initiative aimed at reducing the state’s carbon footprint and reducing the cost of government operations. This includes meeting the state’s overall statutory goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent reduction from 2001 levels by 2030 and reducing waste disposal and water consumption by 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, by 2030 from a defined baseline of 2020.
“Sustainability is good for our planet, and good for taxpayers, too,” Governor Lamont said. “As a major consumer of energy with more than 3,000 structures and 3,500 vehicles in our fleet, we can lower the state’s operating costs, support investment in sustainable businesses, and safeguard our environment. Working together across agencies, we are improving the performance and efficiency of state government, starting with our environmental and carbon footprint.”
The order directs the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to lead an interagency steering committee that will set agency-specific goals within the next several months regarding onsite heating and cooling, electricity, clean energy, vehicle fleets, waste management, water use, and product procurement, with a specific focus on investment strategies that do not require bonding and preserve the state’s fiscal resources. The committee will also consider pathways to achieve a net zero emission target for 2050.
Agencies will appoint senior sustainability officers within each agency to be the lead on agency purchasing and facility decisions pursuant to the goals. Within a year, agencies are asked to develop and publicly share strategic plans identifying how the agency will achieve their sustainability goals.
“I look forward to improving energy and environmental sustainability across state government operations through this expanded Lead By Example initiative,” OPM Secretary Melissa McCaw said. “Our state agencies can achieve significant savings through reductions in the use of energy and other resources, which will help Connecticut close our budget gap and put Connecticut on a path towards a more fiscally and environmentally sustainable future.”
“As the agency responsible for managing state facilities, fleets and procurement policies for most of the executive branch, DAS is point to accelerate the adoption of renewables, low-carbon heating/cooling and electric vehicles across our portfolio,” DAS Commissioner Josh Geballe said. “We, and other agencies that have already taken efforts to make their buildings and fleets more efficient have seen the environmental benefits – and the cost savings.”
DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said, “This executive order reflects Governor Lamont’s commitment to climate leadership and improving government performance – a winning combination for environmental and economic progress. DEEP looks forward to partnering with all agencies on innovative approaches to carbon reduction and environmental stewardship.”
Connecticut has enacted several foundational programs and initiatives to reduce energy consumption in state buildings (see Conn. Gen. Stat. sections 16a-37a to 38b). Since 2011, the state has:
  • Completed 133 small-scale efficiency projects in state buildings through turn-key utility programs and incentives, achieving $1 million in annual savings with payback between two-four years
  • Completed 76 large-scale energy efficiency retrofits through state bond funding, achieving average savings of $5 million/year with payback under 8 years
  • Established a web-based platform, EnergyCAP, for compiling and tracking state energy data (all state energy accounts have been integrated into the system) and initiated auto electronic data transfer for linked state utility counts into EnergyCAP
  • Installed renewable energy facilities on CSCU campuses
  • Executed agreements to develop the Lower Collinsville Dam into a hydroelectric facility using the state allocated virtual net metering program that will credit DEEP and DAS meters
  • Implemented product purchasing requirements at the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to procure equipment and appliances for state use that meet or exceed the federal energy conservation standards
  • Aggregated procurement of competitive electricity supply for state facilities (approximately $1 million annual savings in operating costs)
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