Gov. Wes Moore has signed an executive order doubling Maryland’s energy conservation goal for state-owned buildings from a 10% decrease by 2029 to a 20% decrease by 2031.

The order will ensure that Maryland’s state government leads by example in addressing the harmful impacts of climate change while saving taxpayers money through reduced state utility costs. The order also makes changes to state building performance standards, expands the use of energy savings performance contracts and requires ongoing tracking on the impact of energy efficiency improvements.

It also directs the Maryland Green Building Council to update the High-Performance Green Building Program to ensure that all new buildings and major renovations that are subject to the program align with Maryland’s goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

To achieve the goal, the order also guides the Maryland Department of General Services to identify the potential for energy-saving performance contracts at state-owned facilities and buildings with the highest energy use per square foot and greatest greenhouse gas emissions.

To provide oversight on progress, it also guides the department to conduct an annual audit to include best practices and cost-saving measures in order to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions, in addition to maintaining data and reporting through a comprehensive utility records management database.

In addition, all units of state government shall, in support of their core missions, implement projects and initiatives to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.