NewEnergyNews: 4-DAY WEEK IN UTAH TO CUT ENERGY USE

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    Wednesday, July 09, 2008

    4-DAY WEEK IN UTAH TO CUT ENERGY USE

    Get the feeling there’s something happening here? A U.S. Senator has called for re-instituting the 55-mile per hour speed limit. Now the state of Utah announces it is shifting to a 4-day work-week. When these things happened in the 1970s, it was called an energy crisis.

    Utah estimates the shift will save taxpayers $3 million/year (of the budgeted $11 million/year) in electricity, heating and cooling costs.

    The Department of Environmental Quality estimates commuters in just 6 buildings will save $300,000+ on gas. 1000 buildings will be affected.

    As many Utah citizens have long suspected, less government will also clear the state’s air. Kim Hood, executive director, Department of Administrative Services: "We feel like we can reduce the CO2 or the ozone by around over 3,000 metric tons, as well as have an impact on our air pollution…"

    A lot of other states are watching. Leslie Scott, executive director, National Association of State Personnel Executives: "Everyone's going to keep a close eye on it and see what happens in Utah and whether they can demonstrate employee effectiveness and the energy savings, too…"

    Footnote: Utah’s state-run liquor stores will NOT close on Fridays. Apparently that would only make the crisis worse.

    There is
    a thorough analysis of the 4-day work-week at the Oil Drum, including 16 resons it might be an idea whose time has come.

    When a state whose motto is "industry" cuts back on work days, it means something is happening. (click to enlarge)

    Utah goes to 4-day workweek to save energy; Starting next month, thousands of government employees will only work 4 days per week, in an effort aimed at reducing energy costs and commuters gasoline expenses.
    July 3, 2008 (CNN Money)

    WHO
    Utah Governor Jon Huntsman; Utah state government employees

    WHAT
    TGIT: Thank Goodness It’s Thursday. That’s the new expression for Utah state government employees now that Governor Huntsman has ordered them to a 4-day, 10-hours per day work-week to cut energy and gas consumption.

    click to enlarge

    WHEN
    - The new “Fridays off” 4-day work-week schedule will begin August 4.
    - The Monday thru Thursday workdays will be 10 hours long. Offices will be open from 7 am to 6 pm to allow citizens to conduct business with the state before and after work.

    WHERE
    The schedule will apply to Utah state government employees.

    WHY
    - The work-week will still be 40 hours long and salaries will be unaffected.
    - Unchanged: State police officers, prison guards, court employees, state public universities.
    - State-run liquor stores will stay open on Fridays.
    - There may be adjustments required for some seeking state services and for workers with children in childcare.
    - The closure will apply in 1000 of 3000 state government buildings.
    - Telecommuting is being encouraged and citizens are being asked to do things like register their vehicles via the Internet.
    - The Governor’s office reassured the state’s citizens 24/7 services (ex: hazardous materials cleanups, urgent Medicaid procedure approvals) would continue uninterrupted.

    Time Magazine sees it as the bright side of a dark time. (click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    - Ryan Walker, information technology director, state of Utah: "One of the jokes is that one of the biggest benefits will be for golf courses…"
    - Spokeswoman for Governor Huntsman: "…there are people who are on call 24-7 now, and those people will continue to be on call 24-7…"
    - Debra McBride, Medicaid specialist, veteran of 4-day, 10-hour shifts 20 years: "After working 10 hours in a day…I don't do anything after I get home."

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