State employees from 16 departments converged at the State Capitol on Wednesday, June 29 to launch the iConserve energy-saving campaign for all state employees to become more energy efficient. Green Champions from all State offices, designated to encourage employee participation in iConserve, joined Governor Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, government officials, legislators and public employees at the rally, which was open to the public.

"As state employees, we can be a catalyst for change and we must lead by example through our continued energy-savings practices," said Governor Abercrombie, who is leading the iConserve effort to encourage energy efficiency practices by employees in all state government offices. "Last year, the state saved $20 million in electricity costs through conserving energy. We want to top that figure so we can use that money to bring more services to our people."

The State Capitol was selected as a semifinalist in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition aimed at reducing energy use. "With in-house energy efficiency upgrades to lighting and air conditioning, as well as water-conserving fixtures and changes to building operations put in place by the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) two years ago, energy use at the State Capitol dropped 11 percent. This September, we'll be completing more energy-saving improvements at the Capitol and nine other State offices, with projected savings of $64 million over the 20 year life of the equipment," said Bruce Coppa, Director, State Department of Accounting and General Services.

DAGS has contracted an energy company, NORESCO, to implement efficiency improvements in public buildings. DAGS and NORESCO have offered a number of training sessions designed to inform and encourage state employees to save energy through simple steps. During fiscal year 2010, state departments reduced total electric consumption by 2.8 percent from 2009 and saved more than $20 million in energy costs statewide, according to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism's (DBEDT) annual Lead By Example (LBE) report. Other Lead By Example projects are detailed in the full report that can be accessed online.