Governor of Massachusetts Mandates Conservation and More Use of Renewable Energy in State Facilities

April 23, 2007

An executive order, signed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, mandates higher standards for energy efficiency in state buildings and greater use of renewable energy by all state agencies.

The "Leading By Example — Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings" executive order is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut electricity costs. Currently, every year Massachusetts agencies consume more than 1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, 22 million gallons of heating oil, and 46 million therms of natural gas, emitting 1 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO 2) — the equivalent of 200,000 automobiles.

"This executive order supersedes all previous administrative actions on energy conservation, and sets the clean energy bar far higher than ever before," Patrick said.

State agencies will be required to:

  • Reduce their overall energy consumption 20 percent by 2012, from 2002 levels, and 35 percent by 2020
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent over the next 5 years, 40 percent by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050.

To achieve these goals, state agencies must:

  • Obtain 15 percent of their electricity from clean renewable sources by 2012, and 30 percent by 2020
  • Use biofuels for 3 percent of their heating oil next winter, and 5 percent the following winter
  • Meet Massachusetts’s LEED-Plus green building standards for all new construction and major renovations, and consider energy performance in leasing decisions
  • Reduce potable water use 10 percent over the next 5 years, and 15 percent by 2020.

Under the new requirements, all facilities larger than 100,000 square feet will have to be retrofitted for energy efficiency by 2012, and small agencies will be allowed to take advantage of utility rebate programs. The executive order also prohibits the purchase of incandescent light bulbs in most cases, and requires the purchase of energy efficient products, such as high-efficiency lights, programmable thermostats, and Energy Star qualified products. In the executive order, Patrick also calls for changes in behavior in state offices.

"There will be no more leaving lights on at night or over the weekend," said Patrick.

For more information, see the governor's April 18 press release.

To read more information about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Massachusetts, see: