Ideas

Mari Manoogian
Representative | Birmingham, MI

Michigan Green Government Fund and Standards Act

IDEA CATAGORY: Climate Change

Problem

 As Michigan faces the ever-expanding consequences of global climate change, I believe that our government should be modeling good behavior for ourselves similar to that which we’re asking our constituents to do. Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management & Budget manages 6.7 million square feet of facility space via 568 leases and moves 25 million pieces of mail each year. While Michigan does have state guidelines on increasing energy efficiency in state buildings and laws do require that energy efficiency is taken into account, there are neither design mandates to do so in the name of decreasing the state government’s carbon footprint nor are there explicit funds with which to ensure that new green building projects and renovations or EV fleet purchases are properly funded. Government has to model behavior that we expect of our constituents to show that we live the values we’re asking people to follow.

Solution

The Michigan Green Government Fund and Standards Act is a two-part solution, combining a revolving fund with building and purchasing standards for state government agencies. By partnering explicit green building design standards for new state constructions, renovations, and EV fleet purchases with a self-sustaining funding vehicle, we hope to show the government as both a good financial steward and as proactive in reducing Michigan’s carbon footprint. The revolving fund — using initial seed funding — would fund new constructions, improvements, renovations, or EV fleet expansions, and would receive funds equivalent to the calculated savings of each finished project compared to a non-green alternative. This calculus would be supported by mandatory data collection under the initial design requirements under the act — for example, a new building built with these design standards would be required to have systems to track energy usage, so energy savings can be calculated and savings deposited.