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Beshears Tout Capitol Energy Saving Plan

By Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio

As Kentucky prepares to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on Thursday, Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear are touting energy conservation efforts at the State Capitol.

Gov. Beshear says improvements underway will reduce energy consumption by 22-percent, and save taxpayers $251,000 dollars a year.

“The work includes lighting upgrades, water conservation measures, vending machine controllers, optimization of the chiller plants performance, replacement of steam traps, various improvements at the mansion and electrical transformer replacement,” he said.

The work is being done at the Executive Mansion, the State Capitol and the Capitol Annex. Beshear says the $2.6 million project will be repaid through savings realized from reductions in utility costs.

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Indiana Receiving $132 Million For Energy Conservation

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says more than 30,000 low income households will benefit from the state’s $132 million share of federal stimulus funds to be used to make their dwellings more energy efficient.

The program will put equipment such as thermostats, water heaters and furnaces in the homes of residents already receiving state energy assistance.

“In this case the lasting value will be the reduction of between 25 and 50 megawatts of energy consumption on an ongoing basis. That’s the equivalent of a tenth to maybe a fifth of a power plant,” Daniels said Friday.

Daniels estimates the program will create about 2,300 jobs across the state.

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Beshear Orders Energy Saving Measures

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

On nights and weekends, lower the thermostats and turn off the lights.

That’s what Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is ordering for state-owned facilities operated by the Finance Cabinet. That includes the State Capitol, the Capitol Annex and the Governor’s Mansion.

“It’s senseless to heat or cool down a building when no one is working there,” Beshear said. “We think this will cut energy use by 24 percent and save us approximately two million dollars a year. We’re also going to encourage other agencies and groups that receive taxpayer funds, such as schools, universities and local governments, to do the same thing.”

Beshear says if they did, it could save taxpayers more than $100 million per year. The Beshear administration is also requiring new public facilities or renovations to existing facilities, built with 50 percent or more state funds, to be designed according to nationally recognized energy efficiency standards.

The new regulations are based in part on legislation approved by the 2008 General Assembly.