Beyond simply enacting legislation and regulations to advance energy efficiency within the state's residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, state (as well as county and municipal) governments can also provide vision and leadership for their constituents.
Leading by Example
By having an agency dedicated to energy policies, setting goals for reduction of energy use by state agencies, establishing high standards for the efficiency of state-owned and operated buildings, and implementing policies that promote energy efficiency in public-service buildings, government demonstrate the value of energy efficiency and reduce the amount of the state's revenue that is spent on energy purchases. Every Midwestern state has a state energy office and many have adopted other policies aimed at managing the state’s energy consumption as well as encouraging others to follow its lead.
State Energy Office
The Bureau of Energy & Recycling at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity serves as Illinois' State Energy Office.
The Illinois Energy Office creates jobs and stimulates economic development in Illinois through programs and policies that spur investment in Illinois' Green Economy. These programs and policies benefit our economy, improve our environment and increase our energy independence.
In addition, the Office will continue to promote the leadership of the State of Illinois, through its own energy and recycling policies and practices, at state facilities. Individually tailored programs are available to assist Illinois citizens, communities, non-profit organizations, businesses, industry, and other government agencies in an effort to achieve the Office's mission.
Visit the Illinois Energy Office. Check out NASEO's profile for Illinois.
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State Energy Plan or Vision
In May, 2011, Governor Quinn announced his energy plan for the State of Illinois. It encourages energy efficiency, renewable energy, and calls for the procurement of long-term clean energy contracts by the state's procurement agency. It also addresses the need to improve the state's aging energy delivery infrastructure.
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State Agency Energy Reduction Requirement
The 2007 State Agency Energy Efficiency Act (20 ILCS 20) directly addresses energy efficiency in state government. It directs all executive-branch state agencies to set a goal of reducing energy use by 10% over ten years (by 2018). It also requires the state agencies to purchase Energy Star-rated equipment.
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EE in New State Buildings
Illinois' Green Buildings Act (20 ILCS 3130) requires that all new state-funded construction or major renovation of buildings are to seek LEED, Green Globes, or similar green building certification. New buildings and renovation less than 10,000 sq. ft. must follow the guildelines for the highest level of LEED (or equivalent standard) that is practical, though they do not have to actually seek certification. Buildings or renovations larger than 10,000 sq. ft. must be LEED Silver (or two Green Globes) certified and must receive all of the LEED credits that have been deemed mandatory by the Capital Development Board.
In 2009, Governor Quinn's Executive Order 7 directs the Department of Central Management Services to implement a program to increase energy efficiency, to track and reduce energy usage, and to improve energy procurement for all state-owned and leased facilities.
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Recognition or Award Program
The Governor's Sustainability Awards, presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, recognize public or private organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices, including eneryg efficiency.
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