In August 2004, Delaware’s governor signed House Bill 435, requiring state agencies to purchase ENERGY STAR qualified products if they are available competitively and within a reasonable time frame, and if they meet appropriate performance standards. Separately, in February 2010 Governor Markell issued Executive Order No. 18, which sets a variety of energy conservation goals and requirements intended to make the state a leader by example in clean energy and sustainability.
Under Executive Order No. 18, executive branch state agencies and departments were required to reduce energy consumption by 30% by the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 when compared to FY 2008, with interim targets of 10% by the end of FY 2011 and 20% by the end of FY 2013. The requirement applies to covered entities that occupy either state-owned or state-leased buildings. The order further prescribes a series of energy conservation practices for state employees to follow, such as turning off lights when they are not in use, eliminating the use of portable appliances, following green computing practices, and setting appropriate thermostat settings in different types of facilities.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), is required to develop a system for benchmarking, monitoring and tracking energy use and carbon emissions in state-owned and state-leased facilities. The system should ultimately be used to prioritize energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy projects based on energy savings, cost savings and environmental benefits. On-site wind, photovoltaics, and combined heat and power are specifically identified as measures that should be evaluated for implementation, provided that they have a simple payback of 20 years or less. This directive is coupled with a renewable electricity procurement target of 20% by FY 2012 and 30% by FY 2013 for executive branch state agencies, offices, and departments.
The order also dictates that new construction and major renovation projects should be designed to meet or exceed the USGBC LEED Silver rating standards, and that third-party certification must be pursued for such projects if it can be accomplished at a reasonable cost. Additional sections of the order address recycling, clean transportation, and environmentally sensitive procurement practices for state government.
Through Delaware’s official partnership with ENERGY STAR, signed February 27, 2004, the state offers purchasing and procurement training for schools and government agencies. This partnership also promotes the National Association of Counties (NACo) ENERGY STAR Courthouse Campaign and allows utilities, agencies, and schools to receive an EPA energy performance rating through their energy tracking software.