For Immediate Release: May 2, 2012
Sen. Brian Bingman
Lawmakers Send Bingman Energy Conservation Bill to Governor
Legislation sent to the desk of Governor Mary Fallin
on Wednesday by the state Senate would initiate an energy conservation
program for state agencies, institutions and assets that would
result in hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars being saved.
Senate Bill 1096, authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Brian
Bingman, creates the Oklahoma State Facilities Energy Conservation
Program and directs all state agencies and higher education institutions
to achieve an energy efficiency and conservation improvement target
of at least 20 percent by the year 2020.
SB 1096 was given final approval in the Senate Wednesday
with a unanimous vote of 42-0. Bingman said the program is inspired,
in part, by an energy conservation program that began in 2007
at Oklahoma State University (OSU). Since initiating a behavior-modification
energy efficiency program, OSU has decreased energy consumption
campus-wide by 19 percent, resulting in some $19 million of savings.
“Our families know the value of saving a couple
dollars here and there by turning the lights off when you leave
the room, and we know those dollars add up over time. Government
ought to behave in the same common-sense way, especially when
hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars can be saved,”
said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “We’ll save hundreds of millions
over the coming years just by being smarter about our energy use.
These savings are real, and we’ll see the return immediately
when our energy conservation program is implemented.”
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.
“Small business owners know the value of a smart energy
usage program, and it’s becoming common practice in the
private sector to manage the energy you consume so you have more
profit or extra dollars to reinvest and help your business,”
Bingman said. “We can make government smaller, simpler and
smarter by taking a cue from our business leaders to operate more
efficiently. By saving hundreds of millions of dollars over the
coming years, we’ll be in a strong position to keep the
promises we’ve made to core services like teaching in the
classroom, fixing broken roads, and giving public safety and law
enforcement the resources they need to keep our families safe.”
Under the Oklahoma State Facilities Energy Conservation Program,
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.