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Cal/EPA Secretary Signs Agreement to Save Energy in State Buildings.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- State Leads by Example on Energy Conservation; Administration Officials Urge Private Sector to Join Effort, Help California Achieve Governor's Ambitious Goals

Three State office buildings will get an energy "tune up" under an agreement signed today--one of the first steps in an ambitious program to conserve electricity statewide.

Under the deal, programs administered by Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison will pay for engineering studies of the Elihu Harris Building in Oakland, the Edmund G. Brown Building in San Francisco and the Santa Ana State Office Building. In response, the Department of General Services agrees to spend up to $20,000 per building to implement the engineers' energy-saving recommendations.

California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Alan Lloyd formally signed the agreement today on behalf of the Green Action Team, the Cabinet-level task force Governor Schwarzenegger created to implement sustainable building practices and energy conservation efforts throughout the State. Today's agreement, announced at a meeting of the Green Action Team, is the first in a series of measures DGS will be taking to increase energy efficiency in its buildings, Joseph said.

"As our buildings get older, building systems don't work as efficiently as they once did," explained Joseph, who is Chair of the team's Green Buildings Committee. "Retro-commissioning is a way to get those systems running like new again. That not only conserves energy, it helps save tax dollars."

In December, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-20-04, which calls for commercial and public buildings to reduce energy consumption from the grid by 20 percent between now and 2015.

"Governor Schwarzenegger has made it clear that energy conservation is a critical priority for all of us as Californians," commented Fred Aguiar, Secretary of the State and Consumer Agency and Chair of Governor Schwarzenegger's Green Action Team. "The State is committed to leading by example--implementing the best practices in our own buildings and encouraging others to do the same. Today's agreement is a down payment on a more energy-efficient California."

The engineering study will be conducted by Quantum Consulting, a Berkeley-based firm with experience in re-engineering building systems to be more energy-efficient. The Building Tune Up Program, which is paying for the study, is funded by the Public Utilities Commission and administered by the utilities.

"There are many rebate and incentive programs out there for the private sector to take advantage of, but not all businesses are aware of them," Joseph said. "We encourage businesses to contact their utility providers to learn about these programs, which can help the environment and improve their bottom line."

In addition, DGS is working with the new Department of Technology Services to retro-commission the State's data centers. It is also implementing standards created by the U.S. Green Building Council for the design and construction of new buildings.

"All of us recognize the importance of saving energy--not just to cut costs or prevent blackouts, but also to be are good stewards of the Earth," said Joseph. "The Governor has set ambitious goals, and DGS is committed to following through on the Governor's vision."
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 18, 2005
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