Oklahoma government hires energy czar

Oklahoma's energy program director will coordinate and implement efforts to cut energy costs and promote energy efficiency.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: November 10, 2012
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Oklahoma has hired an energy czar.

Officials announced Friday that Rick Krysiak will be the state energy program director.

He is charged with coordinating and implementing efforts to reduce energy costs and promote energy efficiency throughout state government.

It's a new position at the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services. He starts next week.

Krysiak has been director of physical plant services at Oklahoma State University, where he led the effort to design and oversee energy efficiency initiatives. OSU officials said earlier this year the effort led to energy savings of $20 million since 2007.

The energy savings strategies focused on behavior-based solutions, such as setting heating and air-conditioning on run times matching building occupancy patterns.

Gov. Mary Fallin, who has made energy efficiency a priority in her administration, signed legislation in May that requires state agencies reduce their energy costs 20 percent by the year 2020 when compared with utility expenditures for the 2012 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

OSU's energy savings allowed the university to save dollars on energy that can be spent inside its classrooms, Fallin said. OSU officials have said energy savings allowed OSU to open five new or renovated buildings on campus without increasing the overall maintenance and operation budget.

“We plan to replicate that success on a statewide basis, and to save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the process,” Fallin said. “That money can then be used to support priorities like education and public safety, rather than wasted.”

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