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DuBois, Pa. Small Business Honored by EPA for Energy Savings

Release Date: 09/16/2008
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543,

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 16, 2008) - - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency selected Priority Communications, a radio broadcasting and advertising company in DuBois, Pa. for the 2008 ENERGY STARŪ Award for Small Businesses. Priority was chosen because it cut its utility costs significantly and made energy efficiency improvements that help make our nation's air cleaner.

"Priority Communications is demonstrating the environmental and financial rewards of going green. We hope that small businesses across the country will realize that getting the most from their energy dollars just makes sense," said Donald S. Welsh, mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

After hearing an interview about energy efficiency on one of its radio stations, the staff at WCED in DuBois decided to launch its own energy efficiency program that has saved it nearly $12,000 a year in energy costs. WCED is one of several stations run by Priority in Dubois and nearby Weirton, WVa.

WCED talk host Gary Stormer challenged his guests from the Clarion University Small Business Development Center to perform an energy efficiency assessment of station WCED's building.

Based on the assessment done by the SBDC Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP), Joe Philippone, president of Priority Communications, was quick to begin making the changes recommended for the building envelope, lighting, and HVAC system. “Keeping energy costs as low as possible helps us remain competitive,” he says.

Following the EMAP recommendations, remaining incandescent bulbs were upgraded to compact fluorescent lights and a programmable thermostat was installed. The transition to energy-efficient 34 watt fluorescent bulbs also began. The success of the initial assessment led Philippone to ask for a more in-depth assessment which was performed in early 2007.

The 2007 assessment resulted in upgrading the boilers in the former old bank building. The boiler is expected to pay for itself in a little more than a year. The company is now also transitioning to T8 fluorescent lighting.

The upgrades have added up to real cost savings. The Clarion SBDC EMAP estimates that Priority Communications is saving $11,000 annually in fuel costs by reducing fuel oil demand by 4,050 gallons from the HVAC upgrades and $775 annually in electric costs by cutting back 9,200 kWh per year from the lighting upgrades alone. In total, this represents a reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) of over 52 tons, the equivalent of the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than six homes.

Priority Communications is one of 10 small businesses and three congregations to be recognized nationally in 2008 with ENERGY STARŪ Awards for Small Businesses and Congregations.

Launched in 1992, Energy Star is a government program that helps businesses and consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. In 2007, Americans with the help of Energy Star saved $16 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of 27 million vehicles annually.

To learn more about the 2008 Energy Star Small Business Award winners and to view the interactive map, visit:

To learn more about the 2008 Energy Star Congregation Award winners and to view the interactive map, visit:

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

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