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State Lead by Example Initiative

In December 2015, Governor Gina M. Raimondo signed Executive Order 15-17: "State Agencies to Lead by Example in Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy" establishing a "Lead by Example" program within the Office of Energy Resources (OER) "to oversee and coordinate efforts at State agencies to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions". The Governor's findings note that the State's transition to a cleaner, low-carbon energy economy presents "unprecedented challenges, as well as opportunities to strengthen the State's economic competitiveness, create thousands of well-paying jobs, foster new clean energy industry opportunities, improve public health, protect the environment, and enhance the quality of life". Moreover, Governor Raimondo identifies the State as "one of the largest energy consumers in Rhode Island, with energy expenses of nearly $35 million in fiscal year 2014".

Governor Raimondo’s Lead by Example Executive Order establishes clear energy goals for State agencies, including, but not limited to:

  • Achievement of an overall reduction in energy consumption of at least 10 percent below FY14 levels by the end of FY19;
  • Procurement of 100% of State government electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2025;
  • Development of strategies for reducing fossil fuel use and GHG emissions from the State fleet, with a goal of ensuring that a minimum of 25% of new light-duty state fleet purchases and leases will be zero-emission vehicles by 2025;
  • Achievement of a high standard of green building operations and maintenance at all State facilities;
  • Establishment of a voluntary stretch building code available for use in all State construction and renovation projects, as well as those in the private sector;
  • Consideration of full life-cycle costs and savings in planning and implementing projects when making cost-effectiveness determinations about investments in capital assets and services;
  • Posting of State energy usage data (FY14 baseline).

To achieve these goals and advance its agency mission to lead Rhode Island toward a secure, cost-effective, and sustainable energy future, OER is coordinating efforts across State agencies to reduce energy consumption and costs, lower GHG emissions, deploy renewable energy resources, and foster clean transportation solutions. The following initiatives are just some of the ways in which OER and State agencies are leading by example across the energy space:

State Agency "Lead by Example" Initiative Annual Report

In accordance with Executive Order 15-17, State Agencies to Lead By Example in Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy, OER is pleased to present the first annual report evaluating the State’s progress toward Lead By Example Executive Order (LBE EO) goals. (Report)

Energy Data Management

OER is supporting State agencies by making energy consumption and cost data accessible online. As part of this effort, OER is working with the Department of Administration to centralize State agency energy data and billing processes for electric, natural gas, and delivered fuels accounts, which will improve energy usage and cost forecasting, streamline payment processes, and foster development of new and innovative strategies to meet the State’s clean energy targets. Table I

Energy Efficiency Projects

Develop energy efficiency retrofits and above-code new construction projects for deep energy savings. OER can provide administrative, technical and other support resources to assist public sector entities scope, procure, finance, and implement cost-effective energy efficiency projects at their facilities, and will facilitate collaboration between your agency, OER, your utility, and potential vendors.

Renewable Energy Installations

Stabilize energy costs and shrink your carbon footprint by considering renewable energy for your facility. There are numerous programs available to support the development of clean energy installations that offer the potential to reduce total energy costs, reduce exposure to energy price volatility, and “green-up” your agency/facility. OER can provide administrative, technical, and other support resources to help you move forward.

Training and Recognition Program

Arm your staff with best practices to improve facility management and identify new cost-saving opportunities. Help your staff learn green facility operations and maintenance practices. OER is interested in expanding access to trainings to support your facility operators and managers. A recognition program is also being developed to acknowledge energy pioneers in State agencies.

Stretch Code Development

OER is coordinating with the Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, National Grid, the Green Building Advisory Council, the State Building Commissioner, and the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance of the Department of Administration to establish a voluntary or "stretch building code" that is based on the International Green Construction Code by 2017. The use of this code will result in long term energy savings that will assist state agencies in meeting their energy reduction and sustainability targets.

These groups are meeting on a monthly basis to develop a stretch building code that can be used by state agencies or any other entity interested in reducing their energy usage below the requirements of the existing Energy Conservation Code, complying with the Green Buildings Act and/or qualifying for utility incentive programs. Public input will be solicited at a later date in the stretch code development process.

Clean Energy Investment Purchasing Mechanisms

OER, in partnership with the Division of Purchases, has developed a Master Price Agreement (MPA 508) for turnkey energy efficiency projects. This purchasing mechanism expedites energy efficiency implementation by clearly defining proposal requisition processes and providing access to a pool of prequalified energy services vendors. Recently, a new Master Price Agreement (MPA509) was developed to streamline the process for public entities to install electric vehicles charging stations.

Conversion to Energy Efficiency LED Lighting

Replacing traditional high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting with energy-efficient, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) offers numerous benefits, including immediate energy savings, reduced maintenance and equipment costs, improved lighting controls, enhanced lighting quality, and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. Please click here to learn more about OER’s LED streetlight initiatives.

Biofuels

OER and the Division of Purchases have pursued a means of providing access and encouraging the use of biofuels across State agencies and fleets. In March 2016, the State successfully solicited bids for transportation and off-road fuels that include biofuel blends. The solicitations achieved the following:

  • All transportation diesel purchased by the State will now contain at least 5% biofuel.
  • The option to purchase 20% biodiesel and 99% biodiesel blends are now available to all state agencies.
  • All #2 heating oil purchased by the State will now contain 5% biofuel and 95% ultra-low sulfur #2 heating oil (B5 BioHeat).
  • An option to purchase a 20% biofuel heating oil blend (B20 BioHeat) is also now available to all state agencies.
  • All off-road diesel purchased by the state will be ultra-low sulfur (S15).

Energy Procurement

In coordination with the Department of Administration (DOA), OER is supporting competitive energy supply procurement processes for all Executive agency, Judicial, and RIC/CCRI utility accounts. These procurements are also open to other public sector entities, such as quasi-state agencies, which can leverage the competitive process and foster economies of scale. OER is interested in further demand aggregation across public sector entities with a goal of reducing energy supply costs in future procurement events.

Update: Natural Gas Auction, August 16, 2016

For more information on Lead by Example, please contact George.Sfinarolakis@energy.ri.gov (401) 574-9101 or Becca.Trietch@energy.ri.gov (401) 574-9106.

Centralized utility bill management: Terri.Brooks@energy.ri.gov (401) 574- 9107

Last updated August 29, 2016