California Governor Issues Sweeping Order to Green Government

California Governor Jerry Brown issued a sweeping executive order that will make the state’s government a model for green building.

50% of new state buildings beginning design in 2020 must be Net-Zero Energy, and all new state buildings and major renovations that begin design after 2025 must be Net-Zero Energy. 

State agencies shall also take measures toward achieving Net-Zero Energy for 50% of the square footage of existing state-owned building area by 2025.

– Any proposed new state building or major renovation larger than 10,000 square feet has to generate its power onsite using solar or wind, if economically feasible.

– New state buildings and major renovations larger than 10,000 square feet have to obtain LEED Silver certification or higher.

All state facilities have to cut power bought from the grid 20% (below a 2003 baseline) by 2018.

State agencies also have to participate in demand response utility programs and include electric vehicle charging stations in  new and existing buildings.

All state agencies must reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 10% by 2015 and 20% by 2020, compared to a 2010 baseline.

They must also reduce water consumption 10% by 2015 and 20% by 2020, as measured against a 2010 baseline.

Finally, State agencies have to buy environmentally preferable products when they are cost effective.

In issuing the order, Brown said these changes will save money and boost California’s economy by investing in green technology companies and green jobs.

He noted that the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 requires greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, and the energy used in buildings is the second largest contribution to state emissions.

In his 2012 budget, Brown proposed using the estimated $1 billion generated from California’s new "cap-and-trade" program for clean energy research, natural
resource protection and renewable energy projects, such as solar and wind farms and electric vehicle charging stations.

Here’s the Executive Order:

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