Governor Announces Energy Efficient Initiatives

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 18, 2009) - Gov. Steve Beshear today announced a couple of energy efficiency initiatives that will further establish Kentucky as a national leader in the "greening" of public buildings.

The first initiative will require new public facilities or renovations to existing facilities built with 50 percent or more state funds to be designed according to nationally recognized energy efficiency standards outlined in a rating system called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The second initiative will require certain existing state-owned facilities to "set back" their use of lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems on nights and weekends to reduce energy consumption. It's estimated that the program could immediately save approximately $2 million a year by reducing energy use by 24 percent.

The "building setback" plan immediately affects 3.8 million square feet of facilities operated by the Finance and Administration Cabinet, including the Capitol, Capitol Annex, Governor's Mansion, Frankfort Convention Center and Capital Plaza Tower.

Essential and emergency operations will be excluded, and government agencies can receive waivers during periods of essential government service, such as late-night sessions of the General Assembly.

By encouraging other public agencies and departments that receive taxpayer funds, such as schools, universities and local governments, to work toward adopting a similar "building setback" plan, the governor said the savings could surpass $100 million a year.

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