Lead By Example


The second "Lead By Example" report for Maine’s state government outlines actions by state government agencies in support of Maine’s four-year plan climate action, Maine Won’t Wait. This report includes strategies to curb state agencies’ greenhouse gas emissions, transition state electricity use to 100 percent clean power by 2024, and ensure all new vehicles purchased for the state are electric by 2030.

electric vehicle on state campusThe report, authored by the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and Governor’s Energy Office, is the product of a multi-agency analysis ordered by Gov. Mills in 2019.

To further assert Maine state government’s commitment this effort, Governor Mills issued an executive order on January 17, 2024 (PDF) that directs the state to commit to goals that put Maine on a pathway to decarbonize buildings statewide. The governor's order also includes goals for EV charging stations at public buildings, zero-emissions heating and cooling, and overall reductions in emissions and energy use in state buildings.

The objectives of the “Lead By Example” report align with the state’s four-year climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, and leverage the state’s purchasing power to deliver taxpayer savings, create new markets for Maine-based products, increase the state’s resilience to climate change, and make progress toward achieving Maine’s nation-leading emissions reduction and renewable energy targets.

The report provides updates on actions taken by state agencies to achieve the following "Lead By Example" targets:

  • Reduce state agencies’ greenhouse gas emissions by a further 30 percent by 2030, to meet Maine’s overall statutory target of a 45 percent reduction;
  • Prioritize energy efficiency initiatives in state-owned facilities, such as modern heating/cooling systems, high-efficiency lighting, and weatherization;
  • Purchase 100% clean energy for state operations by 2024 and generate clean energy on state facilities and lands where practical, such as through installing solar on state lands and buildings;
  • Use climate-friendly building products like cross-laminated timber in new state construction, in order to reduce emissions and help build demand for new forest products in Maine;
  • Ensure all new light-duty vehicles purchased for the state fleet are electric by 2030;
  • Extend flexible teleworking opportunities for state employees and support ride-sharing initiatives, to reduce emissions related to transportation;
  • Assess the vulnerability of state-owned infrastructure to climate change effects, such as rising sea levels; and
  • Grow the share of local food purchased by state government to 20% by 2025.

Support for these initiatives comes in part from $3.6 million in Volkswagen settlement funds, which were initially secured by Gov. Mills when she served as Attorney General. Under an agreement negotiated by Attorney General Aaron M. Frey, the Efficiency Maine Trust administered these funds to support energy efficiency projects for the first two years of the program: the Department of Administrative and Financial Services will continue to invest these funds in state agency projects, while also offering technical assistance to state agencies.

Per the Governor’s direction, progress on this “Lead By Example” effort will be reported every two years.