VOL. 123 | NO. 12 | Thursday, January 17, 2008
Audit Finds Problems With State Energy Program
KNOXVILLE (AP) - An audit has found plenty of leaks in state government's energy efficiency and conservation efforts.
"Legislation and department initiatives have identified reducing energy costs as a priority, but it is unclear exactly how much the state spends on energy or how much could be saved," the audit said.
"Therefore, we cannot determine whether implemented energy initiatives are effective," said the report prepared by the state Comptroller of the Treasury.
The Department of General Services pays most of the state's energy bills but records only the cost, not the actual energy usage by units.
So the Department of Finance and Administration's State Building Energy Management Program must gather its own information from utility providers to meet its mandate to monitor utility usage.
Meanwhile, the report said, a General Services computer system that can automatically control lighting and thermostat settings at state buildings across Tennessee - potentially shaving electric bills - is largely idle.
Officials said the system isn't used "because very few, if any, staff are trained to use it," the report said.
Both state departments agreed with the auditors' recommendation to work together to keep track on both utility costs and usage, and General Services said its staffers were being trained on the automated energy management system.
Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
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