Home » Energy management initiative reduces energy use, utility costs in state buildings

Energy management initiative reduces energy use, utility costs in state buildings

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2012) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced the launch of a public website that tracks real-time savings resulting from the Commonwealth Energy Management and Control System’s (CEMCS) pilot project.

The pilot project is a cost-saving action of the Governor’s ongoing Smart Government Initiative (SGI).

The energy management program is expected to save $600,000 annually by implementing low-cost building operation adjustments. New, groundbreaking software creates data-driven analysis that allows building managers to optimize energy management in the 43 participating state buildings at 23 sites across the state.

“This advanced, high-tech system is truly forging the way for how our government will view and conserve energy now and in the future,” Beshear said. “Our energy management program is yet another boost toward Kentucky’s reputation as a national leader in green innovation and efficiency. The pilot is already saving taxpayer dollars in utility costs and reducing energy consumption.”

The public website is available at kyenergydashboard.ky.gov, where visitors can learn about each of the buildings in the pilot and view the energy unit and dollar savings in real time. CEMCS will track and reduce energy usage in state buildings by up to 40 percent.

CEMCS was created using a $3.65 million energy management grant from federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. A software platform tracks energy usage in state buildings; monitors and maintains building systems; electronically audits current and historical utility bills and automatically generates alerts if energy usage exceeds predetermined parameters.

State building managers may use the web-based program to review information collected by CEMCS in order to make informed decisions about energy usage and to identify low-cost building operation adjustments. Managers can implement low-cost changes, such as mandating specific thermostat settings; replacing outdated, inefficient equipment; utilizing regulated temperature settings for day, night and weekend schedules; and manipulating settings on major building systems, such as chillers and boilers, to minimize energy consumption.

The system ranks all buildings based upon their energy usage per square foot so that any “energy hogs” can be targeted for further investigation and energy conservation measures.

CEMCS is being implemented and monitored by the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

“Other states and institutions have begun utilizing management software applications but none are as comprehensive as CEMCS,” said Lori H. Flanery, secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet. “The success of this pilot project would not have been possible without the cooperation of our partners in the Department of Military Affairs, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Kentucky Community and Technical College Systems and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.”

Each of these partners has facilities participating in this initial phase, Flanery said.

The program also supports the Governor’s comprehensive energy plan, “Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future,” which established the goal of reducing projected statewide energy demand by 25 percent by 2025 through multiple strategies, including an 18 percent offset through energy efficiency measures like CEMCS.

“My administration has been committed to reducing our energy bills and consumption, and preserving our planet for future generations” Gov. Beshear said. “Innovative energy conservation measures, such as CEMCS, are Kentucky’s best defense against rising energy costs.”

Information about other programs and initiatives the Commonwealth of Kentucky has created to promote energy conservation can be explored on the Greening Kentucky website at greeningkentucky.ky.gov.

Gov. Beshear launched SGI in January 2010 to conduct a detailed review of state government spending and daily operations.

Through SGI, the Commonwealth has sold nonessential property including surplus land, buildings and two aircraft. The state has begun self-insuring state-owned vehicles – a move that will save taxpayers approximately $750,000 each year. The state also realized a savings of $1.1 million by redistributing the assignment of or selling state-owned vehicles.

Since the beginning of SGI, the Office of Procurement Services estimates a savings of $7.2 million through contract renegotiations and rebidding. In total, General Fund contract spending has decreased by $75 million since FY 09.