PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The McKee Administration has recognized 26 state and quasi-government agencies, municipalities, and public schools for their renewable energy and energy efficiency achievements at its Fifth Annual Lead by Example Clean Energy Awards ceremony.

In 2021, Governor Dan McKee signed into law the Act on Climate, which sets mandatory, enforceable climate emissions reduction goals leading the state to achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. The Administration’s “Lead by Example” program, led by the Office of Energy Resources, is working to reduce public sector energy consumption and costs through the adoption of clean energy solutions, such as energy efficiency, renewables, electric vehicles, and clean heating alternatives. These investments are shrinking carbon footprints across state and local governments, reducing operating costs, and supporting clean energy jobs.

“Thank you to all our nominees and winners for your efforts to make our public sector greener,” said Governor Dan McKee. “The Lead by Example program is a great example of how Rhode Island is leading the nation in driving toward a more sustainable future, with a goal of net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. Through this effort, public sector entities are reducing their operating and maintenance costs, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting the local clean energy economy.”

The Lead by Example Program works with public sector entities to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy costs across Rhode Island. The work done by State and municipal employees often goes unheralded but is a critical tool in addressing public sector energy burdens across government.

“I am proud to announce this year’s Clean Energy Lead by Example nominees and award winners across state and local government,” said Nicholas S. Ucci, State Energy Commissioner. “The McKee Administration is committed to advancing our Act on Climate goals and supporting energy cost and emissions reductions throughout the public sector. Our Lead by Example work is having a positive impact and helping to advance important economic, energy, and environmental policy goals.”

Lead by Example Energy Award-Winners:

Category: Public School – Central Falls School District

The Central Falls School District upgraded building automation systems in three schools which have resulted in significant energy savings and improved comfort for students and faculty. The district also converted to LED lighting at the Calcutt Middle School and Veterans Elementary School, and are working on Ella Risk Elementary, Captain Hunt Elementary and Raices Academy. These lighting upgrades will receive $152,000 from National Grid incentives.

Category: Municipality – Town of Smithfield

The town of Smithfield upgraded its streetlights and installed electric vehicle charging stations at the Smithfield Municipal Ice Rink. It converted 1,625 streetlights to LEDs and installed two Level 2 charging stations.

Category: State Agency – Rhode Island Army National Guard and Department of Corrections

Rhode Island Army National Guard installed a new rooftop solar project, the largest rooftop solar PV system on a state facility, at 550 KW. It also converted all interior and exterior lighting to LEDs at 15 major facilities.

The Department of Corrections converted 90 percent of its facilities to LED lighting and the agency plans to be 100 percent LED in the next year. At the same time, DOC also improved its HVAC systems by installing piping insulation and steam traps.

Category: Quasi-Public Agency – Quonset Development Corporation

The Quonset Development Corporation connects tenants of its business park with programs and resources that improve their operations, efficiency, and sustainability. To that end, the agency signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with National Grid in 2020 to assist tenant businesses with energy efficiency measures. This has saved Quonset businesses an estimated $2.7 million in annual energy bill savings and earned the businesses over $3.3 million in energy efficiency program incentives.

The nominees that received honors:

Public Schools:

Barrington Public Schools, North Providence School Department, Lincoln Public School District, Chariho Regional School District, Foster-Glocester Regional School District, West Warwick Public Schools, South Kingstown School Department, Providence Public Schools

Municipalities:

Town of Warren, Town of Barrington, City of Newport, City of Warwick, Town of Narragansett, City of Providence

State Agencies:

Rhode Island College, Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, Rhode Island Department of Administration, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Rhode Island Department of Transportation

Quasi-Public Agencies:

Rhode Island Airport Corporation, Providence Water

To read more about how Rhode Island is addressing climate change mitigation and resiliency, please visit: climatechange.ri.gov.

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