By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis – Gov. Jay Nixon says an executive order he signed last April has saved the state $3 million.
The order requires all agencies in state-owned buildings to reduce their energy consumption by 2 percent a year for the next 10 years, and applies to about 1,000 buildings statewide. Since 2009, Nixon said, the state has reduced its consumption by 5.6 percent, mostly by reducing electricity use.
"Just like businesses and families across Missouri, state government is looking for ways to save money and become more efficient," Nixon said. "On the state level, that requires taking small steps like turning off lights and shutting down computers in the evening. But it also means major changes, like looking at our fuel sources." He spoke at a St. Louis company, Talesin Technologies, which is monitoring valves, switches and meters at the buildings covered by the executive order.
Nixon said the centralized monitoring helped the state achieve the 5.6 percent reduction. When an electricity bill came in higher than expected, he said, Talesin employees were able to look at energy use in similar state buildings. The review found that a meter had stopped working properly, and the utility company credited the state for the overpayment.
But the changes made in the last year were easy ones, Nixon said.
"I think what we need to do is continue looking for alternative fuel sources, looking at other ways that we can retrofit buildings to make sure they are more efficient," the governor said, noting he had spoken with legislative leaders about upgrading the electrical and heating and cooling systems at the state Capitol - an overhaul that will be difficult to fund, given the state's tight finances.