Hawaii State Department Recognized for Being Energy-Efficient

Going green is more than a trend; it’s become a way of life for many individuals and business owners, and has even affected state governments.

Today, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a Washington D.C. based nonprofit, announced the winners of its first ever Energy-Efficiency Award to four states for their department-led sustainable energy programs. The Hawaii state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) made the cut for its Lead By Example program. Colorado, New York and Maryland state programs were also recognized.

I left messages for a few DBEDT officials, to see how they felt about being given this award and check if there were any updates to the Lead By Example program, in which state departments strive to become more energy-efficient throughout their office buildings. I eventually spoke to a person in the department’s Research and Economic Analysis Division. He said he was unable to comment, after sarcastically saying, “Well, isn’t that good for them.”

Hopefully someone at DBEDT cares about the program’s work and the steps taken toward sustainability.

The Lead By Example Program was implemented in 2006 and more than seven departments have taken initiative to become more sustainable, including the state Capitol, some state libraries and the departments of education, transportation and public safety. Participating departments have audited their energy use to cut costs, run A/C less and use more sustainable lighting. 

For those that do care, DBEDT’s website has energy-saving tips for the public, the building industry, hotels, restaurants, small businesses and even state employees to utilize. Some state employees should give it a closer look.

 [UPDATE: Since posting this story yesterday, I have received calls and emails from DBEDT officials apologizing for the inappropriate comment made. The department employees were more than willing to speak to me and were proud about DBEDT’s sustainable achievements and the national recognition the Lead By Example program received.]