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Bozeman business wins national award for exemplary energy savings

Release Date: 3/22/2004
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      Denver -- One of Bozeman, Montana’s own is among an elite group of small businesses across the country being honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for outstanding achievements in energy efficiency. The Wingate Inn of Bozeman has won the 2003 Energy StarŪ for Small Business Award for energy efficiency upgrades that are saving the Inn $118,900 annually on its utility bills.

The Inn’s 54,000 square feet of enclosed facility includes 86 guest rooms, a business center, conference areas and an indoor pool and fitness center. One of the biggest upgrades that Inn ownership has taken is the installation of an innovative four-pipe heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The system uses the fire sprinkler piping to convey chilled water, and employs the hot water system to provide space heating and deliver hot water to the guest rooms. The efficiency of the system is enhanced by variable speed drives on the water pumps and air exchangers that deliver fresh air to each guest room. Not only is this system efficient, but it also lowered construction costs by reducing the amount of piping that had to be installed to serve the facility.

As a result of the HVAC system and other measures, the Inn is saving nearly 124,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and more than 26,000 therms of natural gas on utility bills per year. They are also preventing nearly 460,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually. The Inn's managers are also more than satisfied with lower energy bills. Property manager Kevin Black says, “It is important that small businesses closely study the feasibility of products that save energy and money. They certainly can create a positive return for the dollars spent.”

All Energy Star for Small Business Award applicants were judged on comprehensiveness of upgrades, cost savings per square foot, creativity and innovation. “This year’s national winners met some rigorous criteria,” said Robbie Roberts, EPA’s Regional Administrator in Denver. “We salute the Wingate Inn's outstanding work to save energy and prevent pollution. Their efforts offer an example of financial and environmental stewardship that other small businesses can emulate."

Energy Star for Small Business Award applications are accepted throughout the year. The application is available online at Deadline for submitting applications is Earth Day, April 22.

More than 8,000 companies participate in Energy Star for Small Business and more than 1,000 organizations participate in Energy Star for Congregations. Both are voluntary programs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that help building owners and operators cut energy waste and prevent pollution through energy efficiency. For information call 1-888-STAR YES or visit