The Governor of Maryland has ordered a commission to set goals for the purchase of electricity from renewable energy sources.
BALTIMORE, Maryland, US, 2001-03-27 <SolarAccess.com> Governor Parris Glendening has issued an executive order to create a commission that will develop recommendations and set criteria for the construction and maintenance of energy efficient and environmentally responsible state facilities, and outline a comprehensive strategy for energy conservation. It will also set goals for the purchase of green power in the state. “State government has a responsibility to maximize our resources and minimize the impact on our environment,” says Glendening. The Executive Order calls for at least 6 percent of electricity in state-owned facilities to be generated from wind, solar, biomass or landfill gas. To promote a diversity of green energy resources, no more than 50 percent of that procurement may be from the combustion of municipal solid waste. The Order will encourage wider use of solar roofs and other renewable energy components, adoption of energy-efficient office products and reduction of waste production. Specific goals include reducing energy consumption in state buildings by 10 percent per square foot by 2005, and by 15 percent by 2010 based on current average consumption figures. All new energy-consuming products must carry the ‘Energy Star’ label of the federal EPA, or must be in the top quartile of energy efficiency when labeled products are unavailable. Beginning in 2003, all state agencies must divert or recycle at least 20 percent of the waste they generate. The Governor’s Order establishes a Maryland Green Buildings Council to develop a High Efficiency Green Buildings Program that will guide the design and construction of all new state facilities, as well as the renovations of existing state owned and leased buildings. Green buildings will incorporate the natural ecosystem into the site plan, and reduce heating and cooling costs by optimizing site orientation and designing for local climates. The Order allows the State to purchase alternative-fuel and low-emission vehicles for its fleet. The comprehensive green initiative will help Maryland meet the goals of the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement which requires aggressive new efforts by states in the mid-Atlantic to reduce the release of noxious pollutants into the Bay.