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Richardson Campaign Press Release - Governor Bill Richardson Sets New State Energy Efficiency Goals

November 14, 2007

New Initiative Calls for 10% Improvement Statewide by 2012, 20% by 2020

SANTA FE-- Today Governor Bill Richardson launched a new energy efficiency initiative in New Mexico, calling for a 20% reduction in per capita energy use statewide from 2005 levels by 2020, with an interim goal of a 10% reduction by 2012.

In keeping with the Governor's policy of state agencies leading by example, he is calling for more rapid achievement of the goal by state agencies. Specifically, he wants executive branch state agencies to reduce energy usage by 20% below 2005 levels in state buildings used for agency operations by 2015. He also is directing Executive Branch state agencies to achieve a 20% usage reduction below 2005 levels in state fleet and transportation-related activities by 2015.

"Energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to save consumers and businesses money on their energy bills while reducing global warming pollution," said Governor Bill Richardson. "That's why I spearheaded a Western Governors Association initiative to achieve a 20% increase in energy efficiency across the West by 2020. Today New Mexico is doing its part to achieve that goal."

The Governor's energy efficiency initiative includes an executive order establishing statewide targets, as well as proposed legislation and budget items for the 2008 session.

Executive Order:

  • Sets statewide goal of a 20% reduction in per capita energy use statewide from 2005 levels by 2020, with an interim goal of a 10% reduction by 2012. This could include reductions in any sector of the economy, including electricity production and use, transportation, and residential and commercial buildings.
  • New Mexico Lead by Example goals for state agencies:
    • 20% reduction below 2005 levels in energy usage in state buildings for all Executive Branch state agency operations by 2015. The 20% energy usage reduction will be based on the average energy usage per square foot of building space.
    • 20% usage reduction below 2005 levels in state fleet and transportation-related activities by 2015 based on the average transportation-related energy usage per state employee.
  • The Climate Change Action Team, an interagency team established in Executive Order 06-69, will oversee development of implementation plans for the energy efficiency goals, and their recommendations shall ultimately be submitted to the Governor.

Proposed Legislation:

Efficient Use of Energy Act Amendments

  • Amend the Efficient Use of Energy Act of 2005 to promote all cost-effective and achievable investments in energy efficiency by utilities and avoid more costly investments in new power plants.

Energy Efficient Appliance and Lighting Standards

  • Requires certain electricity-using appliances and fixtures to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard by 2010, such as metal halide lamp fixtures, incandescent reflector lamps, walk-in refrigerators and freezers, single voltage AC to DC power supplies, and light bulbs.
  • Phasing out incandescent light bulbs alone is projected to save homeowners nearly 1000 kWh/year in electric usage – roughly $80 in savings per year.

Energy Efficient Product Financial Incentives

  • Financial incentives for the purchase of certain energy efficient products, with a focus on heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC), including air circulation fans, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, air conditioners and advanced evaporative cooling systems. Additional energy efficient products are under consideration for inclusion in the bill.
  • Space cooling is a major source of both overall increases in statewide electricity usage and peak summer demands. Promoting state-of-the-art HVAC systems will help offset this trend and mitigate future increases in energy costs.

Budget Items:

Energy Innovation and Clean Energy Fund

  • Help speed the innovation process from concept to commercialization for early- to mid-stage clean energy technologies and provide grants for "clean energy" projects to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal and biomass), and clean-burning transportation fuels. A portion of the fund will be earmarked to provide capital grants to local public entities, other than public schools, that are designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards. $10.0 million Capital

Last year $2.0 million dollars was appropriated to the fund for innovative projects that relate to achieving New Mexico goals for clean energy and including partnerships between private and public sectors.

Lead-by-Example: Green Building in Public Schools

  • Make additional funds available for new public school construction or major renovation projects that achieve specified green building standards. $5.0 million Capital

Last year $4.0 million was appropriated to support planning, design, life-cycle analyses and construction of green building projects at 14 schools.

Expand Energy$avers for Low and Middle Income Families

  • Provide families with low- or no-interest rate loans for fixture and appliance upgrades to Energy Star, conversion of utility systems to solar, and other energy efficient retrofits. This program will also offer incentive funding for energy efficiency upgrades in new residential construction and energy efficiency retrofits in existing homes.

$2.5 million Capital

Last year, $1.0 million was appropriated for an energy efficiency housing development program and an energy efficiency rehabilitation program. These dollars leveraged $1.0 million in private funds and the Enterprise Community Partners has committed to providing a 3 to 1 loan match for these dollars.

Higher Education Green Screen

The New Mexico Higher Education Department has been working with institutions to explicitly consider the effect on the environment in evaluating every new construction and renovation project. This ‘green screen' will not only consider energy costs, but also other aspects of design affecting the sustainability of the entire campus. In addition to requiring a higher standard in project design, $10 million will be requested for an Energy Efficiency Improvement Fund that would be appropriated to the Higher Education Department and distributed through an RFP process for specific renovation projects that will generate quantifiable and credible energy savings. $10.0 million Capital

For example, the Luna Multi-Purpose Education Center and an example of a project that is already designed meet or exceed LEED Gold Certified requirements. The New Mexico Higher Education Department is recommending $4.5 million for this project to complement $2.75 million of institution funding.

State Building Energy Efficiency Improvements

In support of the Executive Order establishing targets for reductions of energy usage in state buildings, an appropriation will be requested for the General Services Department for allocation to energy efficiency projects that will generate quantifiable and credible energy savings. The dollars will be distributed in accordance with both the energy efficiency implementation plan submitted to the Climate Change Implementation Team and statewide capital planning documents. $3.0 million Capital

Energy Efficiency Retrofits for State Parks

  • Provide more passive and active solar energy sources for the operation of State Park facilities. This initiative will increase energy efficiency, reduce the use of fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The State Parks Division has reviewed their inventory of facilities and developed a list of facilities that are considered priorities. The Division has identified comfort stations statewide and 22 park facilities for energy efficiency retrofits. $760,000 Capital

This energy efficiency initiative builds on Governor Richardson's strong record of improving energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Past efforts include the Governor's 2006 executive order (06-001) requiring a 50 percent improvement in the energy performance of new buildings for Executive Branch state agencies, adoption of greener building codes (ongoing), and the current effort to adopt the California Clean Car Standard to reduce vehicle pollution.

Bill Richardson, Richardson Campaign Press Release - Governor Bill Richardson Sets New State Energy Efficiency Goals Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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