SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - In what is believed to be the largest effort of its kind in California history, state officials and California's investor-owned utilities have announced plans to work together to significantly increase the level of energy efficiency in state-owned buildings.

Under the deal, the Department of General Services (DGS) will collaborate with Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Gas Co. to implement nearly $17 million worth of energy-saving programs in state facilities. The energy programs - administered by the utilities under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission - will focus on dozens of the state's largest office buildings, several prisons, and a number of smaller buildings such as Department of Motor Vehicles field offices.

At a ceremony held at the State Government Center Building in San Bernardino, State and Consumer Services Agency Secretary Rosario Marin signed the agreement on behalf of the Green Action Team, the cabinet-level task force Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger created to implement sustainable building practices and energy-conservation efforts throughout California. This agreement is the latest in a series of actions the DGS has taken to increase energy efficiency in the buildings it owns or operates for the state.

The State Government Center Building is home to several state agencies and is considered an excellent candidate for increased energy savings. The San Bernardino building is one of approximately 1,000 state-owned facilities under review by the California Department of General Services and investor-owned utilities as candidates for energy-saving programs.

Gov. Schwarzenegger's Green Building Initiative (Executive Order S-20-04) calls for public buildings to reduce energy consumption 20 percent by 2015 and encourages the private sector to do the same.

Publication date: 09/25/2006