Executive Order 23-06

State Agencies To Lead By Example And Act On Climate

WHEREAS, state government must lead by example as we all work to move Rhode Island toward a cleaner, more affordable, reliable, and equitable clean energy future;

WHEREAS, state government faces broad exposure to the mounting risks and costs already posed by the climate crisis.  In responding to this crisis, we have a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity to create and sustain jobs, support a just transition to a more sustainable economy, strengthen Rhode Island’s communities, protect public health, and advance environmental justice;

WHEREAS, efforts to reduce emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change will require the public and private sectors to work collaboratively toward a common goal;

WHEREAS, on an annual basis, the Rhode Island state government and public universities emit more than 95,000 tons of CO2 from the consumption of more than 180 million kWh of electricity, 16 million therms of natural gas, 2.4 million gallons of deliverable fuels, while spending more than $54 million on energy bills;

WHEREAS, municipalities, school districts, and public colleges and universities have an important role to play in leading by example as we transition to a clean energy future and achieve our Act on Climate mandates;

WHEREAS, as a result of the previous Lead by Example Executive Order 15-17, Rhode Island state agencies successfully deployed a range of clean energy projects and developed sustainable strategies that resulted in procuring 95% of our electricity from renewable resources, generated significant energy and cost savings, and improved facilities and grounds;

WHEREAS, On April 14, 2021, I signed into law the 2021 Act on Climate, which sets mandatory, enforceable greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals leading the state to achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DANIEL J. MCKEE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island do hereby order as follows:

1. The Office of Energy Resources (OER) Lead by Example Program (LBE) established by Executive Order 15-17 shall continue to collaborate across state government to develop and implement suitable strategies and programs which ensure the fulfillment of all provisions of this Executive Order.

2. State agencies shall cooperate with LBE, make every effort to support sustainable initiatives within their own facilities, and collaborate with other agencies to promote emissions reduction progress throughout state government.

3. State agencies shall act aggressively to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in order to comply with Rhode Island’s Act on Climate mandates.

4. State agencies shall implement strategies that encourage the development of innovative and forward-thinking approaches, such as strategic electrification, energy storage, LEED certification, and on-site renewable energy generation.

5. OER, in cooperation with the state fleet, shall accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by establishing incremental targets for fleet electrification between 2030 and 2050, requiring all state fleets to procure small, medium, and large vehicles as ZEVs.

6. State agencies shall install at their facilities electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

7. LBE shall develop and publicize programs and resources for municipalities, school districts, and public colleges and universities in order to effectively support their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and effectively lead by example.

8. Within 90 days of this Order, state agencies with 15 or more employees shall appoint an LBE coordinator, who shall be responsible for disseminating information related to LBE efforts, collaborating with LBE staff, and complying with the requirements of this Order.

9. On an annual basis, LBE shall be responsible for tracking and collecting building and vehicle energy consumption, clean energy development, GHG emissions, and other relevant information associated with state government operations. To facilitate this reporting, LBE shall develop methodology, in alignment with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) GHG accounting practices where applicable, to define and track the progress of the provisions and targets contained in this Order by Dec 31, 2023. This shall include detailed calculation methodologies, baseline energy and emissions calculations for state agencies, and a roadmap for collecting, calculating, and posting this information.

10. LBE shall report annually on progress toward meeting the targets and objectives of this Order.  LBE is also authorized to report building and facility energy use for all state agency properties. Agencies will provide energy consumption data and other information as requested by LBE.

Executive Order Targets

The following targets are designed to drive progress toward meeting the statewide 2050 net zero emissions mandate. By the end of the calendar year 2030, LBE shall revisit these targets and assess whether new or revised goals are appropriate for setting additional targets or objectives prior to 2050.

State Agencies as a whole, and to the greatest extent feasible, individually, shall meet the following calendar year targets where applicable:

1. Reduce emissions from a 2014 baseline associated with the burning of onsite fossil fuels at buildings and in vehicles:

  • 40% by 2030         
  • 70% by 2040         
  • 95% by 2050

2. Acquire vehicles such that the light-duty state fleet consists of:

  • 25% zero-emission vehicles by 2030

3. Reduce overall site energy use intensity (EUI), defined as weather-normalized Btu per square foot, from a 2014 baseline at state-owned buildings:

  • 20% by 2030
  • 30% by 2040
  • 40% by 2050

4. Increase the total number of electric vehicle charging stations at state owned properties to:

  • 200 by 2030

5. OER shall continue to procure, on behalf of all state government agencies, the energy supply for electricity and natural gas. In addition, subject to funding opportunities and constraints, the State shall procure 100% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources.

6. All agencies shall take the targets enumerated in this Order into account when planning for, designing, and deploying projects. Agencies shall prioritize:

  • the reduction or elimination of emissions from on-site fossil fuels,
  • optimize building performance through efficient operations,  
  • participate in all available energy efficiency and clean energy incentive and rebate programs,  
  • regularly monitor building energy performance,
  • install high efficiency equipment,
  • incorporate energy performance into leasing decisions, and
  • participate in demand response and energy storage programs.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order. To the extent that any of the provisions of Executive Order 15-17 are inconsistent with the provisions of this Order, they are repealed.

So Ordered,

Daniel J. McKee