The State of Washington faces a shortage of electrical energy of significant magnitude. Although the severity and duration of the shortage depend in large part on factors beyond our control, we, are in a position to reduce its overall effect by taking immediate and realistic conservation measures to reduce statewide power consumption by not less than 7% and to maintain this reduced level until the situation is normalized. Events in the next few months could require even greater reductions.

Every citizen will be affected to some degree. While services vital to health and safety should be maintained at normal levels, business and industry must operate under conditions of minimal power waste. Individuals and homeowners can continue to benefit from the convenience and comforts of electrical power, but must do so in a more responsible manner, avoiding unnecessary and wasteful practices.

Our basic electrical power position is excellent. Over 90% of the power consumed is generated hydroelectrically and this resource is low-cost, clean and very importantly it is annually renewable. However, this year of 1973 has been marked by extremely low rainfall in the important watersheds of Washington and its neighboring states, to the point that major reservoirs which should be full of water to guarantee fall and winter requirements are now at less than three-fourths capacity. Continuation of drought conditions in the upper Columbia River drainage, if coupled with the customary consumption of power and water, would place us in a serious crisis situation by midwinter or early spring. This is the short-term emergency with which we must deal.

The best and only short-term solution is to leave as much water as possible in storage above the power generators. By reducing tile average demand 7% or more the next several months we can avoid a forced reduction of 25% or more in the last, critical months before the reservoirs are replenished.

Our problem is shared throughout the Northwest and we cannot expect to obtain power from other areas in the short term. Both regionally and nationally and in terms of the total energy supply, not just hydroelectric power, every agency of government, every industry and every individual must understand and practice energy conservation measures.

I have previously established an Energy Policy Council to advise me in all areas of the power and energy problem, including: (1) inventory of our state energy resources and their growth potential; (2) present and future demand patterns; (3) immediate and long-term conservation practices; (4) alternative energy sources; and (5) the economic and social impact of the various courses of new development available to us. I have specifically charged the Council with developing and recommending an energy policy which balances development with a healthy and desirable environment, recognizing the individual's right to clean air, clean water and a clean land. The Legislature, state agencies, business and industry, and many citizen groups have pledged their support of these goals, but it is apparent that we cannot reverse the trend of the century in a single year of crisis.

The real solutions we seek will come in (1) mid and long-range planning activities and (2) design and construction of new energy facilities which are environmentally sound, which support the growth patterns desired by the majority of our people, and which are practical in terms of technology, investment and multiple-use benefits.

In order to deal with the short-term emergency, however, there is no choice other than substantial, statewide reduction of power consumption. The emergency will continue until there is assurance that stored water reserves, plus the minimal anticipated rainfall and/or snow melt, are adequate to meet normal annual electrical power demands of the State of Washington and the areas of neighboring states normally dependent on Washington power for all or a significant part of their supply.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Daniel J. Evans, Governor of the State of Washington, do by virtue of the power vested in me,

-Declare that a temporary state of emergency exists in the State of Washington in regard to the availability of electrical energy, effective this date and to continue in effect until April 15, 1974, unless sooner terminated.

-As the first measure in a comprehensive program to curtail power consumption, I am hereby ordering all agencies of state government to reduce their consumption of electrical power by not less than 10%.

-All agencies, departments, divisions, bureaus, or boards of state government and all universities, institutions, and other facilities of state government shall, without delay, prepare and implement a stringent program of electrical energy conservation, elimination of all wasteful practice, and reduction of their electrical energy consumption to the lowest level consistent with performance of their essential functions and duties. The director, secretary, or president of each state agency shall designate a responsible policy-making official to be responsible for the development and implementation of such energy conservation program.

-The Department of General Administration shall provide all agencies with guidelines and assistance for establishing and implementing energy conservation programs, and shall develop a reporting system for monitoring and evaluating the progress of each state agency. Each state agency shall submit the name if its designated responsible official to the Department of General Administration by October 1, 1973, and programs for energy conservation shall be submitted to such department by October 15, 1973.

-Both programs for conservation and compliance therewith shall be subject to my review and I shall take whatever action necessary and appropriate to insure compliance with the terms and intent of this Executive Order.

Programs of energy conservation should be directed at six major areas: (1) heating and air conditioning; (2) lighting; (3) electrical motors; (4) office equipment and electrical appliances; (5) food preparation and handling; and (6) special testing and laboratory facilities.

The following specific measures shall be taken immediately by all state agencies:

(1) Reduction of all air conditioning in the remainder of the summer weeks and heating in the fall and winter months in all state buildings to the lowest levels commensurate with the health and safety of state employees. A level of 80 degrees F., is suggested for air conditioning settings and a level of 68 degrees F., for heating settings.

(2) Reduction of all exterior lighting of state buildings and grounds except as required for safety and security.

(3) Reduction of all interior lighting of state buildings to the minimum levels required for safe and productive working conditions. An effort shall be made to reschedule janitorial functions to conserve unnecessary night lighting.

(4) Water heating thermostats for washroom use shall be set at 110 degrees F., and at 140 degrees F., for kitchen use. All leaky faucets shall be repaired immediately.

(5) Lights, typewriters, dictaphones and office machines shall be turned off when not needed.

(6) The use of all motors, compressors, circulating pumps, elevators, ventilating systems, etc., shall be programmed to conserve power. All motors shall be turned off when not needed.

(7) All state hours of operation shall be rescheduled where practical, after the lapse of daylight savings time to take full advantage of the maximum daylight hours.

(8) The Department of Highways shall turn off all nonessential highway and freeway lighting consistent with highway safety.

(9) State employees shall be encouraged to recommend other methods of conservation. State agencies should explore the feasibility of programs to award employees initiative in energy conservation.

I urge that all agencies of federal government in the State of Washington and all agencies of local government institute parallel programs to the end of reducing electrical consumption by not less than 10% and I direct all agencies of state government to assist and cooperate with their counterpart agencies of the federal and local governments in establishing energy conservation programs.

I further urge that every industry, business and commercial enterprise in the state, institute energy conservation programs, with the additional goal that each such industry and enterprise prepare and hold in reserve an objective and quantitative plan for continuation of its primary activity at reduced levels of consumption (industry at 90% and business and commercial enterprises at 75%). Such plans to be operative if mandatory reductions become necessary.

I further urge every citizen of this state to put into action a program of energy conservation at home, on the job, and in personal activities, and to seek out, and correct those wasteful practices which add to our present crisis.

I am attaching to and making a part of this order a list of conservation measures for the use of our citizens in joining a statewide voluntary program of energy conservation.

Concurrently with the issuance of this Order, I am requesting that the state Legislature provide necessary legislation to empower the Governor to implement a mandatory electrical energy conservation and allocation program in the event voluntary programs prove unsuccessful.

The State of Washington faces a major and serious challenge today. I am absolutely confident that we, the people of Washington, have the sense of community and commitment which will enable us to meet that challenge. The support of our people with their recognition of what must be done will allow us to move forward in implementing a far-reaching, energy conservation program which will guarantee our ability to meet the necessary energy requirements of homes, commerce and industry, and all vital services this coming winter.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set
my hand and caused the seal of the State of
Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
6th day of September A.D., Nineteen hundred and seventy-three.

Daniel J. Evans
Governor of Washington


Secretary of State

Back to Executive Orders Archive