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  • Governors Initiative

    In August 2007, Governor Martin O’ Malley announced and introduced statewide energy efficiency goals designed to save taxpayers money and reduce the carbon footprint within the State.  The Governors “Empower Maryland” initiative targets energy consumption reductions by 15% statewide, by the Year 2015.  The initiative is comprised of seven (7) steps to meet the targeted 2015 goal. The following represents the Governors initiatives:

    • Improve Building Operations by energy reduction of 5 percent

    • Expand usage of Energy Performance contracting (ESPC)

    • Increase State Agency Loan Programmable

    • Require incorporation of Energy Efficient Buildings

    • Purchase and application of Energy Star Products

    • Expand Community Energy Loan Programmable

    • Ensure accountability


  • Garrett County Government

    In accordance with the Governor’s initiative, Garrett County Government has adopted an Energy Conservation Plan. The Energy Conservation Plan outlines many measures the County has and may implement to become more energy efficient and reduce its energy consumption in meeting the Governors “Empower Maryland” initiative, which required energy consumption reductions in State and County facilities, being reduced 10-15% by 2015. For more information on the Energy Conservation plan, please visit http://www.garrettcounty.org/facilities-and-maintenance/energy-conservation/energy-conservation-plan. Below are recommended conservation measurements from the Garrett County Government’s website that can be employed by any facility.

    Immediate Conservation Measures

    Short Term Conservation Measures

    Long Term Conservation Measures


  • Immediate Conservation Measures

    Measures that will have the greatest effect on usage in most work environments

    Heating and cooling costs account for about 30-50% of our energy costs.

    • Use the automatic setting on your thermostat so the fan turns on only when you need heating or cooling.  On the manual setting, the fan operates continuously and can increase your energy usage.

    • Set the heating controls in between 68-70 degrees for winter settings, with a set back at night or when unoccupied to 60-65 degrees.

    • Cooling controls should be set in between 72-74 degrees for summer settings.

    • Consider raising cooling settings and lowering heating settings on programmable thermostats for both occupied and unoccupied hours.

    • Heating and cooling should start no sooner than ½ hour before you begin the day.

    • Heating and cooling may be set back ½ hour before the end of the day.

    • Windows shall remain closed during cooling/heating

    • Clean or replace filters regularly.  Keep outside units free from leaves or debris that may clog vent.

    • Do not use personal space heaters as for they are prohibited.  These heaters use an inordinate amount of energy, can be a fire hazard, and also work against the pre-settings of the thermostat.

    • In the winter, close window coverings at the end of the day to cut down on heat loss.  In the summer, close window coverings during the day to avoid the heat gain of direct sunlight.

    • Turn off your computer monitor when you are away from your desk for more than 15 minutes and at the end of the day.  Most monitors now come with power management features; talk to IT staff about activating this feature.  Note that screen savers don’t save energy; complex screen savers actually increase energy use.

    • Eliminate unnecessary hot plates, coffeepots and other small appliances in your area and turn off all tools, office machines and portable appliances when not in use.  If you’re the last one leaving at the end of the day, turn off the photocopiers and other office equipment.  Instead of having many coffee pots in various offices, select one to cover the whole office.

    • Turn off all lights at night, including task and office lights.

    • Use natural light whenever possible.  Turn off lights near windows when daylight is adequate.

    • Turn off lights when they are not in use.

     Measures that will be effective for some work environments

    • Watering your landscape wastes electricity along with water.  The water within our facilities gets there with the use of large electric pumps.  Make sure you follow local watering guidelines for proper landscape care.
    • Verify that the outside air (OSA) dampers are closed during unoccupied hours, including during morning warm-up periods.  Fresh air is critical while the building is occupied, but heating OSA when it is not needed increase energy costs.
    • Be sure motor-operated dampers are operating properly.
    • Less frequently used equipment with remote controls such as televisions and VCRs should be unplugged when not in use because they still use some power even when turned off.
    • Make sure photocells (light sensors that turn on electric lights after dark) are clean.
    • Also turn off lights in unused common areas such as copy rooms, break rooms, conference rooms and rest rooms.  The effect on lamp life and energy use when turning the lamp back on is negligible.
    • Don’t set a higher temperature to “warm up faster”, or a lower temperature to cool quickly.  It only wastes energy.
    • Check to make sure that exhaust fans operate only during occupied periods unless required to operate continuously.
    • Check that dampers on exhaust fans close when the fan is not operating.  Adjust fan belt tension.
    • Inspect control schedules and zones so that you heat only the occupied sections of the building.
    • If you only have electric space heating, stagger the start times to help reduce demand, especially during peak demand times.
    • Close off unoccupied areas and shut their heat or air conditioning vents; or turn off room air conditioner.  This does not apply if you have a heat pump system.
    • Sitting close to a window during the cloudy winter can make you feel cold, if so, close window coverings or move further from the window.
    • Try to schedule group activities in the area with the least energy use, and schedule evening meetings in areas that can be heated and cooled individually.  This may include offering a work station for staff working after hours so they do not need to heat or cool half a floor or cubicle for one person on a weekend.
    • Make sure that air vent grills are not blocked by plants, books or furnishings.
    • Keep drafts away from thermostats to prevent an inaccurate reading.
    • Dust or vacuum radiator surfaces frequently to insure a free flow of heat.
    • In cold weather, dress warmly and in layers that can be adjusted for optimal comfort.  Loosen clothing and dress casually during the warmest hours.
    • Dressing wisely can help you maintain natural heat.  Wear closely woven fabrics.  They add at least a half-degree in warmth.  For women, slacks are at least a degree warmer than skirts.  For men and women a light long-sleeved sweater equals 2 degrees in added warmth.  A heavy long sleeved sweater adds about 4 degrees and two light weight sweaters add about 5 degrees of warmth because of air between them serves as insulation to keep in more body heat.

  • Short Term Conservation Measures

    • Having your vending machine owner turn off the advertising lighting in the machine.  This will conserve energy and could save between $50 and $110 per year, depending of your cost of electricity.

    • Use photocells to automatically switch lights on at night or use motion sensors to increase safety.  Photocells are controls that make lights “smart”.  They sense whether available surrounding light is present to determine whether a light should be lit or not.  The light turns on and off automatically.

    • Use lower wattage bulbs in non-critical areas.

    • A 50-watt reflector floodlight provides the same amount of light as a standard 100-watt bulb.

    • Use one large bulb instead of several small bulbs that add up to higher wattage.

    • Many areas have more lighting than is required for current tasks.  Measure current lighting levels and reduce excess lighting by using power reducers, multi-level switching, or simple removal of lamps and ballasts.  Note that some ballast continue to use some energy even when lamps are not operating.

    • Ask janitorial services to only light one area of the building at a time rather than having the entire building brightly lit until midnight.

    • Ask janitorial services to take advantage of partial switching (such as turning on only one lamp of a three-lamp fixture that is wired to allow this) to further reduce energy use during building cleaning.

    • Avoid using incandescent task light (desk lamps).  Ask your building manager for a compact fluorescent lamp to replace the incandescent lamp as your task light.

    • Staggering shifts or using flexible work schedules are suggested to empty offices during energy peaks.

    • Teleconferencing can reduce energy use and save travel costs.

    • Feel for air drafts around electric outlets.  Inexpensive pads are available, as are plugs for unused sockets.

    • Confirm that the amount of outside air matches the occupant load.  One improvement to consider is adding carbon dioxide monitors along with controls that will only bring in as much OSA as necessary for the current occupant load.

    • Verify that the building control system is going into the night setback mode during unoccupied hours.  Time clocks may require adjustments after daylight savings switchovers or after power outages.  Even computer control systems may need updating after equipment modifications.

    • Confirm that OSA economizer is functioning properly to take advantage of free cooling.  Most office buildings are in cooling mode when the outside air temperature is above 55 degrees F.  The core of buildings over 20,000 square feet are almost always in cooling, even during the winter months.

    • Keep your systems well-tuned with periodic maintenance.  At least once a year have a service technician measure the carbon dioxide in your gas burner.

    • Make sure simultaneous heating and cooling does not occur.  Verify proper operation of valves, dampers and controls.

    • For commercial and industrial applications, monitor stack temperatures on fossil fuel boilers.  If the stack temperature is more than 400 degrees above the boiler room temperature, schedule the boiler for a tune-up.

    • Turn off circulation pumps during unoccupied times if no freeze conditions exist.

    • Make sure that air handling unit filters are changed every 2-3 months, and that coils on the outdoor condensing unit and indoor heating and cooling units are kept clean.

    • Check control sequencing for multiple chillers and boilers.  For light load operation, use the smallest and most efficient chiller or boiler available and avoid frequent equipment cycling.

    • Check the duct work for air leaks about once a year if you have a forced-air heating system.  To do this, feel around the duck joints for escaping air when the fan is on.  Small leaks can be repaired with duct tape.  Larger leaks may require caulking.


  • Long Term Conservation Measures

    • Perform energy audits on all buildings. Such audits may be conducted as part of energy performance contracts and should also be used to verify energy savings.

    • Incorporate energy efficiency guidelines for all new construction.

    • Incorporate energy efficiency guidelines for all building retrofits.

    • Purchase only “Energy Star” equipment.

    • Utilize performance contracting to limit economic impact on building retrofits.

    • Retrofit most energy inefficient buildings first.

    • We can eliminate bulbs in fixtures as an initial conservation measure, but the long-term fix is to replace the T-12 bulbs with T-8 bulbs with electronic ballasts.  In doing this, the whole lighting situation should be re-evaluated so we don’t over light with the new bulbs since they are not only more efficient, but they put out more light.  Part of the reevaluation may include installation of additional motion detectors in applicable areas.

    • Replacement of windows, installing window films and insulating buildings all have to be evaluated to make sure we are getting the most efficiency for the money spent.  

    • Water conservation needs to be addressed.  Low flow faucets, low flow toilets and an evaluation of hand drying methods should be evaluated in the same contexts as electricity.

    • Develop landscaping plans that require less water consumption in the future.

    • Variable speed drives on air handlers.

    • A central heating and cooling system will use less energy than individual heat-cool units for most work environments.

    • Utilize high efficiency motors on electrical equipment.

    • Evaluate processes to eliminate or reduce energy resources needed for the process such as eliminate or reducing the forms needed to get permission for an activity, simplify approval chains or modify reporting requirements, etc.


  • Disclaimer: The information above was taken from the Garrett County Government website and is for informational purposes only. The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is not recommending or endorsing any of the above programs or policies. The Garrett County Chamber disclaims all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on the Garrett County Chamber or Garrett County Governemnt Web pages.