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New Pilot program conserves energy, cuts costs at state facilities

Part of Governor Raimondo's Lead by Example in Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Initiative

PROVIDENCE As part of efforts to transition Rhode Island to a cleaner, low-carbon energy economy, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER), recently completed a pilot project to upgrade lighting fixtures at six DEM facilities. The upgrades will reduce energy consumption and costs at several popular parks and piers across the state.

"DEM and OER hit the ground running with this project, and I am pleased their collaborative efforts will help reduce state government's carbon footprint and cut our high energy costs," said Governor Raimondo. "We are making great strides in growing our green economy in Rhode Island, and it is important that state agencies lead by example and continue to work together to secure a clean and affordable energy future for our state."

As part of the program, over 1,000 LED fixtures, bulbs, or retrofit kits have been installed at Burlingame State Park in Charlestown, Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Fort Wetherill Marine Fisheries in Jamestown, Lafayette Fish Hatchery in North Kingstown, Pier 9 in Newport, and the Port of Galilee in Narragansett. The new lighting is projected to save an estimated 356,370 kilowatt-hours of energy annually as well as nearly $50,000 in energy-related costs.

"An important part of acting on climate change and protecting our environment is reducing our energy burden," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "This project is the latest example of our efforts to increase energy efficiency across our facilities and reduce our environmental impact. Governor Raimondo set us on an important path to grow our clean energy economy in Rhode Island and lead by example as state agencies. We were delighted to work with OER on this project in service to that end. Kudos to all involved in making this project a success."

Last year, Governor Gina M. Raimondo signed Executive Order 15-17, tasking state agencies with reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across their facilities. OER coordinates the state's "Lead by Example" (LBE) program. DEM's pilot project was funded via the state's share of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proceeds, as well as qualified energy-efficiency program incentives administered by National Grid.

"In our effort to bring clean, affordable, reliable and diversified energy to Rhode Islanders, it's important to do as the Executive Order says: 'Lead By Example,'" said OER Commissioner Carol Grant. "The state is one of the largest energy consumers in Rhode Island, and this initiative will continue to help taxpayers save money by reducing energy costs. We look forward to creating more opportunities for savings in the future as we lead the way toward building a robust clean energy economy."

Energy-efficient LEDs offer a number of benefits: the bulbs last longer than fluorescent models, reducing maintenance costs; the average lifespan is 50,000 hours or over 11 years when used for 12 hours a day; the lights do not contain mercury and are easily recycled; and LEDs are brighter, improving facility operations. For more information about the benefits of energy-efficient lighting and other energy-saving projects in Rhode Island, visit www.energy.ri.gov.

For information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online: http://www.dem.ri.gov/
  • Release date: 07-26-2016

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