Governor Honors State Employees Association (SEIU 1984) Member For Her Effort To Reduce Fossil Fuel Energy Consumption.
CONCORD – In order to highlight state government’s efforts to improve energy efficiency, Governor Maggie Hassan presented the Governor’s Excellence in Energy Efficiency Awards at the State’s annual energy conference last week hosted by the New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services, Department of Environmental Services and the Office of Energy & Planning.
This annual conference, which brings together state agency staff involved in energy, transportation and efficiency efforts, serves to celebrate the great work being done in state government to reduce fossil-fuel energy consumption, provide information on other ways to reduce energy use, and enable staff to network with their colleagues in other agencies.
“As a state, we remain focused on diversifying our energy supply mix and investing in energy efficiency and conservation – the cleanest and cheapest approach to reducing our energy bills,” Governor Hassan said. “Because of the efforts of our dedicated and hard-working state employees, the state is conserving more energy, which is saving valuable state resources and helping to preserve our environment. Together, we must continue to innovate and move our clean energy economy forward.”
In the last ten years, the State has avoided more than $10 million in energy costs through energy efficiency measures and by switching to lower-cost fuels. The state energy manager estimates the state saved nearly $5 million on its energy costs in Fiscal Year 2014 and Fiscal Year 2015 alone. Between Fiscal Year 2005 and Fiscal Year 2015, the square footage of building space used by state government increased by 11 percent while overall energy use has remained the same. This meant that the energy used per square foot of building space (i.e., the Energy Use Intensity or “EUI”) fell by 11 percent and the fossil-fuel EUI fell by nearly 21 percent.
“In order to build on our progress, we must keep pressing forward quickly and aggressively to make a new energy future a reality,” Governor Hassan said. “These award winners are helping to strengthen what makes New Hampshire unique and to maintain our status as a great place to work, live, visit and raise a family.”
The state has also been actively pursuing reductions in fuel consumption by its vehicle fleet. Since 2009, the State passenger auto and truck fleet has reduced mileage by approximately six percent, which has translated to 1.8 million fewer miles of travel, reducing costs across state government.
Awards this year were given to: Sharon Rivard of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services; the New Hampshire Adjutant General’s Department and the New Hampshire Army National Guard; and the Bureau of Court Facilities, under the Department of Administrative Services.
“We congratulate Sharon Rivard, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member, Chapter 50, for her initiative and commitment to serving the people of NH in the most efficient way,” said Rich Gulla, President of SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “We also recognize all of the state employees who work daily to find new ways to conserve resources and streamline their work, as they continue to provide services to Granite State residents and visitors.”
Individual Recognition Awardee Sharon Rivard works as a Design Review Engineer in the Wastewater Engineering Bureau in the Water Division at the Office at the Department of Environmental Services. In this capacity, Sharon has woven energy consciousness into her daily work, making changes to wastewater funding programs and design criteria, which result in energy efficiency improvements in the design and construction of all wastewater facilities going forward. The work that Sharon did in this regard has been showcased by the US Environmental Protection Agency as an innovative approach that other states might follow. Further, she is collaborating with the New Hampshire Office or Energy & Planning and New Hampshire’s electric utilities on a project that will help the state’s 84 municipally-owned wastewater treatment plants reduce their energy use and avoid 10,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, saving municipalities almost $2 million per year in electricity costs.
The New Hampshire Adjutant General’s Department and the New Hampshire Army National Guard were chosen for this year’s Model Energy Agency award recipient for dedicating staff to energy efficiency and making efficiency everyone’s job. The department and the Guard have systematically been evaluating each of its buildings in order to identify energy-saving measures that can cost-effectively be installed. The Guard has also installed smart meters on its facilities and evaluated the potential for onsite renewables. These actions have helped the Guard improve its own operations and energy performance, while also helping to lead New Hampshire forward.
The final award, the Outstanding Project or Initiative Award, was presented to the Bureau of Court Facilities. The bureau took the initiative to investigate abnormally high energy use at one of its courthouses. They hired a consultant to do an energy audit and the resulting report gave them several large efficiency measures to tackle. Once Bureau staff understood the potential opportunities around them, they began to identify their own measures and act on these observations. Many of these energy retrofit projects have payback periods of less than five years.
At the conference, Governor Hassan also unveiled new energy efficiency goals for state government, including reducing fossil fuel usage by 50 percent over 2005 levels by 2030.