Governor Timothy M. Kaine yesterday issued Executive Order 48, setting a goal for executive branch agencies and institutions to reduce the annual cost of non-renewable energy purchases by at least 20 percent by fiscal year 2010.

Included in the order are directives to "purchase or lease Energy Star rated appliances and equipment for all classifications for which an Energy Star designation is available. All new copiers, faxes, printers, and other such office equipment purchased or leased by the commonwealth that uses paper shall be recycled paper-compatible."

In addition, the order says: "All agencies and institutions shall take necessary actions to minimize vehicle miles traveled related to state operations. All agencies and institutions shall implement transit and ridesharing incentive programs within the parameters of the Department of Human Resource Management's guidelines, and shall maximize the use of telecommuting consistent with the policies of the Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance.

"Reducing our energy consumption and costs and protecting our natural resources is a priority for my administration," Kaine said. "Last year, Virginia state government spent over $290 million in energy costs to operate our facilities and travel on state business. To reduce the environmental consequences of that level of energy consumption and save taxpayer dollars, I am directing state government to use proven and innovative conservation technologies and energy procurement processes."