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VOL. 123 | NO. 12 | Thursday, January 17, 2008

Audit Finds Problems With State Energy Program

AP

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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

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 74 196 20,828
MORTGAGES 86 244 23,989
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 39 3,086
BUILDING PERMITS 138 453 43,046
BANKRUPTCIES 64 174 13,354
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 56 6,678
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 30 82 7,871
MARRIAGE LICENSES 14 59 4,702