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:
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:
The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) recognized 11 state government agencies, quasi-public agencies and municipalities for their renewable energy and energy efficiency achievements at its inaugural Lead By Example Energy Awards ceremony, held at the Rhode Island State House.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Centralized utility bill management: Terri.Brooks@energy.ri.gov (401) 574- 9107
Last updated August 29, 2016