Friday, August 29, 2008

City of Savannah Accepts Governor’s Energy Challenge

Pledging to reduce energy consumption 15 percent by 2020, the city of Savannah is the first city in Georgia to accept the Governor’s Energy Challenge, which is a part of his Conserve Georgia initiative. Announced by Governor Perdue in April, the Governor’s Energy Challenge is a commitment that state government will reduce its energy usage 15 percent below 2007 energy use levels by 2020 through energy efficiency or in combination with renewable energy. Governor Perdue challenged Georgia’s citizens, businesses, organizations, local governments and school systems to meet the state’s 15 percent reduction goal.

“I applaud Savannah for being the first city in Georgia to accept the Governor’s Energy Challenge,” said Governor Perdue. “By reducing energy use 15 percent, communities across Georgia can lessen their dependence on traditional energy sources, support the local economy and improve the environment.”

On Thursday, August 28, the Savannah City Council adopted a resolution accepting the Governor’s Energy Challenge. It is Savannah's first major policy adoption under the city's newly launched Thrive campaign, which aims to make the city a healthier, more environmentally sensitive, and more energy-efficient community.

“We are pleased to accept the Governor’s Energy Challenge, as it gives us a focus and a mechanism by which to measure our goal to become a more environmentally sustainable community,” said Mayor Otis Johnson. “Goals that include timelines and impact measurements are important to tell us whether progress is being made.”

“Savannah has never been afraid to rise up and meet a challenge, and in this case we take particular pride in once again being a trendsetter in Georgia. I encourage my colleagues across the state to join me in accepting this 15 percent reduction goal,” added Mayor Johnson.

The city of Savannah is in the process of studying a number of potential initiatives, including an idling policy for vehicles, a water re-use expansion plan and an energy-efficient building policy, as it attempts to meet the Governor's goal of reducing its 2007 energy consumption levels by 15 percent by the year 2020.

The state of Georgia will lead by example and adopt, implement, and promote energy efficiency practices and policies and by using renewable, locally produced biofuels and bioenergy. The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) is directing the implementation of the Governor’s Energy Challenge. Information on how to accept the Governor’s Energy Challenge is available by visiting the “Our Energy” section of conservegeorgia.org.

Conserve Georgia is a statewide multi-agency marketing and public education effort aimed at promoting the conservation of energy, land and water; the prevention of litter; and the promotion of recycling. Conserve Georgia’s website – conservegeorgia.org – is a one-stop-shop portal to the state’s conservation programs. Any Georgian or organization seeking more information on how to conserve the state’s natural resources, can visit conservegeorgia.org and easily access all of the state’s conservation programs and information.
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