The state is taking steps to reduce it’s $33-million electric and heating bill, and create jobs at the same time.
In 2009, there was much talk of weatherizing and improving energy efficiency to create jobs and save energy. During that year, Delaware spent $33-million on electricity and heating for state buildings. Now, the state leaders are taking steps to reduce those costs at some of those sites.
Starting with the Carvel State Office Building in downtown Wilmington, state facilities will undergo an energy efficiency audit, to determine what improvements need to be made to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Governor Jack Markell unveiled the improvement plan from his office on the 12th floor of the Carvel building. He says the improvements will provide jobs for workers making the repairs, save the state money on its energy bills, and reduce CO2 emissions. “That is about one of the best examples of a win-win that we can think of, putting people to work and reducing the use of energy.”
The facilities improvements won’t be paid for out of the state’s capital budget. Co-chair of the Sustainable Energy Utility board, State Senator Harris McDowell (D- Wilmington North) says they will be funded by what he calls “green energy savings bonds.” McDowell says the bonds will be issued after an investment-grade energy audit of the buildings is done. The bonds will be paid off by the money the state saves on energy costs. “It’s a very, very good investment. So, we’re capturing that good investment to benefit the state, and by extension, the people that pay the bills of the state, the taxpayer.” In addition to all the money the state will save, McDowell says Delaware taxpayers will also benefit by the reduction in CO2 and other pollutants that are emitted into the air.