New Jersey Creates Energy Savings Director, Green Building Task Force
New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine issued an executive order on Earth Day creating a director of energy savings in the Treasury Department that will reduce the state's utility bills through energy efficiency. Currently New Jersey spends $128 million per year for energy, and the new director will reduce consumption at the hundreds of facilities owned by the state. See the governor's April 22 press release and text for Executive Order No. 11.
The executive order is broad in scope and requires attention by department heads that will be detailed in an annual report to the governor. The new energy savings director will work with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and other state agencies to write an economic development plan that centers on the adoption of energy efficiency practices and new renewable energy technologies. (BPU administers the State Energy Program in New Jersey.) The governor said that the executive order will save taxpayers millions, stem the flow of energy dollars to out-of-state entities, and create local jobs. In addition, the order requires that state agencies to:
- Procure Energy Star® products
- Purchase products with recycled content and materials with low toxicity
- Conduct energy audits of state facilities with follow-up on recommendations
- Participate in Clean Energy Choice, the state's green power program
- Add fuel-efficient vehicles to state fleets.
Two weeks later the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced creation of a Green Building Task Force to coordinate green building practices among New Jersey state agencies. DCA Director Susan Bass Levin said the task force was created to meet the challenge of Governor Corzine's April 22 executive order and will establish New Jersey as a leader in responsible stewardship of natural resources. For details, see the DCA May 5 press release.