DES MOINES — State Auditor Rob Sand says energy usage will be flagged in every audit report his office issues for state and local government agencies, “to make sure that they know where they are starting, so they can measure their progress in energy efficiency.”

Sand spoke briefly Tuesday to a crowd at the capitol for “Energy Efficiency Day on the Hill.” Sand says the kind of “bench-marking” he’s suggesting shouldn’t be controversial.

“If you want to manage the amount of taxpayer money that we are spending on energy issues, what you first have to do is measure the amount that we are doing and find ways to save it,” Sand said. ‘So bench-marking is really taking a snapshot of your energy use and figuring out: ‘Where are we right now?’ And then once you know where you are, you can figure out where you need to go.”

Sand indicated his office will work with the Iowa Energy Office to identify the best money-saving measures.

“You have a tremendous ability to save taxpayer money through energy efficiency in Iowa,” Sand said.

Sand, a Democrat, was elected state auditor in November and he was sworn into office three weeks ago.