Alabama capitol

Alabama State Agencies Cut Energy Costs by $3.9 Million in 2012

Alabama capitolAlabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the state has saved nearly $4 million by cutting energy costs at state government agencies. The savings reported for 2012 came following a December 2011 Executive Order issued by the governor, requiring state facilities to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent from 2005 levels – by 2015.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) analyzed energy data submitted by agencies and presented the data in a report. Agencies included in the first progress report achieved about a 10 percent reduction in energy use in 2012 for the total savings of $3.9 million.

ADECA is working with agencies to make state government a model for cost cutting through energy efficiency. With three years left in the project, 72 percent of the state’s original $5.4 million in estimated energy savings has been achieved, and ADECA expects to exceed the estimated target before 2015.

The Department of Corrections reported the largest reduction in the report, saving $1.5 million, a 16-percent decrease from 2005. The department recently completed more than 480 energy conservation measures at 34 facilities statewide using energy performance contracts and a federally-funded grant administered by ADECA in 2009. The measures included lighting upgrades, programmable thermostats, occupancy sensors that turn lights off when rooms are vacant and centrally-controlled energy systems.

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency reported the largest percentage reduction in the report, using 39.5 percent less energy than in 2005 and saving $79,848 in annual costs. Renovations to the agency’s headquarters in Clanton included energy-efficient HVAC equipment and lighting upgrades. A 12,000-square-foot annex building constructed in 2008 was built to energy efficiency standards.

Other agencies and institutions that reduced energy consumption by 10 percent or more include the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Alabama Forestry Commission, the Military Department, the University of Montevallo and Athens State University.

Many of the cost reductions were the result of implementing low- or no-cost conservation measures. Other savings were achieved through utility rate reviews and adjustments.

Twenty state agencies and institutions submitted data to ADECA using free online software that enables building managers to track the energy performance of their facilities. State agencies that lease office space and do not receive utility bills are not included in the energy-saving program.

Photo credit: StuSeeger’s Flickr photostream

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