STATE EMPLOYEES RALLY TO CONSERVE ENERGY

Posted on Jun 29, 2011 in News Releases

For Immediate Release: June 29, 2011

HONOLULU – State employees from 16 departments are converging at the State Capitol at noon today (Wednesday, June 29), to launch the iConserve energy-saving campaign for all state employees to become more energy efficient.

The State Capitol was selected as a semifinalist in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition aimed at reducing energy use.

“As state employees, we can be a catalyst for change and we must lead by example through our continued energy-savings practices,” said Governor Abercrombie, who is leading the iConserve effort to encourage energy efficiency practices by employees in all state government offices. “Last year, the state saved $20 million in electricity costs through conserving energy. We want to top that figure so we can use that money to bring more services to our people.”

Green Champions from all State offices, designated to encourage employee participation in iConserve, are joining Governor Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, government officials, legislators, and public employees at the rally, which is open to the public.

Energy-saving giveaways are available while supplies last from exhibitors such as Blue Planet Foundation, DBEDT’s State Energy Office, DLIR’s Workforce Development, Hawaii Energy, Hawaii Solar Energy Association, HECO, Kanu Hawaii, Kokua Hawaii Foundation, KUPU/RISE, Noresco, and US Green Building Council. Jive Nene, a musical group comprised of local “green” advocates Jeff Mikulina, Mark Glick, Isaac Moriwake and Simone Cole, are performing.

“Energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest, and smartest way for state employees and the public to contribute to reduce our consumption of imported oil,” said Richard Lim, Director, State Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism. “In the last five years, state agencies’ energy use fell by 5.1 percent. We can and are doing more.”

“With in-house energy efficiency upgrades to lighting and air conditioning, as well as waterconserving fixtures and changes to building operations put in place by the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) two years ago, energy use at the State Capitol dropped 11 percent. This September, we’ll be completing more energy-saving improvements at the Capitol and nine other State offices, with projected savings of $64 million over the 20 year life of the equipment,” said Bruce Coppa, Director, State Department of Accounting and General Services.

DAGS has contracted an energy company, NORESCO, to implement efficiency improvements in public buildings. DAGS and NORESCO have offered a number of training sessions designed to inform and encourage state employees to save energy through simple steps (see below).

During fiscal year 2010, state departments reduced total electric consumption by 2.8 percent from 2009 and saved more than $20 million in energy costs statewide, according to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s (DBEDT) annual Lead By Example (LBE) report. Other Lead By Example projects are detailed in the full report that can be accessed online at: http://hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy/efficiency/state/lbe/stateemployees.

The State of Hawaii’s most important economic enterprise is to build a clean energy economy and reach 70 percent clean energy by 2030. The DBEDT State Energy Office’s mission is to act as a catalyst for creating efficiency measures, renewable energy resources, transportation initiatives, and progressive policies that lead to green jobs and investments in Hawaii’s economy. While we are saving energy and dollars through energy efficiency measures, we are also contributing to protecting our environment and moving towards a clean energy future. For more information, visit www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/energy.

iConserve’s Easy Steps to Save Energy at the Office
Here are just four easy tips to save energy in the office.
• Turn off the lights. Lighting accounts for 25-40% of an office building’s energy use.
• If all employees within the 10 Energy Savings Performance Contracted buildings hibernated or shut down their work stations while absent (lunch hour), it would save the state approximately $35,283 annually.
• Turn off power strips, unplug chargers and remove personal appliances. Example: If 100 people removed their mini-fridges, it can save the state approximately $6,489 annually.
• Shut the doors. Open doors allow precious air conditioning to escape. Closing doors saves the state up to $5,500 annually per door.

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For more information, contact:

Estrella Seese
Acting Energy Program Administrator
DBEDT’s State Energy Office
Phone: (808) 586-2352

Lois Hamaguchi
Energy Analyst
DBEDT’s State Energy Office
Phone: (808) 587-9006