Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2012

Senate gives unanimous approval to energy conservation bill

State agencies, assets and institutions would save hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars under a behavior-based energy conservation program passed by the state Senate on Monday. Senate Bill 1096, authored by President Pro Tem Brian Bingman at the request of Governor Mary Fallin, passed the Senate by a vote of 44-0. SB 1096 is inspired, in part, by an energy conservation program started in 2007 at Oklahoma State University. The University has since lowered energy consumption campus-wide by 19%, representing a savings of nearly $19 million.

“Oklahomans deserve smaller, simpler, and smarter government. They know we don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done, just because they’ve always been done that way,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “We can save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars just by doing some basic, common-sense things our families do to save money at home—things like turning off the lights when they’re not in use, or turning off our computers at the end of the day. These savings are real, and we’ll see the return immediately in the first month our energy conservation plan is in place.”

SB 1096 sets a cumulative energy savings target of at least 20 percent by the year 2020 when compared to 2012 fiscal year utility expenditures. Conservative projections show the state could potentially reduce energy consumption by 20 to 30 percent, resulting in approximately $300 to $500 million in net savings over ten years.

“We’re going to be good stewards of taxpayer money and our energy resources,” Bingman said. “With savings from our energy conservation program, we free up taxpayer dollars that can go back in the pockets of hardworking Oklahomans through a meaningful tax cut. It can help us keep the promises we’ve made to fulfill basic government functions like teaching in the classroom, fixing our broken roads, and fighting crime in our communities. There are simply better ways to spend our money than leaving the lights on all night. I appreciate Governor Fallin’s leadership on this issue, and I’m proud to stand with her.”

Under SB 1096, the Director of the Office of State Finance, or an OSF designee, would oversee development and implementation of the energy conservation program. The measure ensures all costs associated with the implementation of SB 1096 would be fully funded by savings generated as a result of energy conservation.

“Oklahoma can and should lead the way in implementing energy efficiency measures that will save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars,” said Gov. Mary Fallin. “My thanks go out to the Senate for passing common-sense legislation that will reduce government waste and make our state agencies run in a more cost-effective manner.”

The bill now advances to the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

For more information contact:
Sen. Bingman: (405) 521-5605