Public buildings are often prime opportunities for reducing energy use while saving taxpayer dollars. Nationwide nearly one-third of the energy used in a typical public building goes to waste. Energy efficient government buildings allow public entities to spend more on public services and less on utility bills.
State of Arkansas Efforts
At the state level, Act 1494 and Governor Mike Beebe's Executive Order 09-07 create a comprehensive approach for reducing energy usage from state facilities.
Executive Order 09-07
The Executive Order requires all executive branch agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor to develop and submit individual Strategic Energy Plans (SEPs) with the following goals:
- Reducing each agency’s annual maintenance and operating budget devoted to energy consumption, and
- Promoting agency operations and practices that will reduce, to the extent practicable, the environmental impact of their overall operation
Act 1494 directs the State to develop a plan for reducing energy use in all existing state buildings by 20 percent by 2014 and a 30 percent reduction by 2017. The state spends on average $100 million annually on energy for state buildings, including public universities and colleges.
A checklist for design professionals to use during a major project to insure compliance with Chapter 4 of the rules for Act 1494 has been developed.
A huge energy savings potential remains untapped in public agencies' buildings. With budgetary challenges and energy costs rising, managers of public buildings must pare down all wasteful expenses, and energy is a prime candidate.
Explore the various sections of the website listed on the left to learn more about building energy use by public agencies, plans they have for reducing this use, and the tools and resources that are available to help them achieve their goals.