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Five EPA New England Organizations are Joining EPA’s Energy Star Challenge
Release Date: 03/18/2005
Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865, email@example.com
For Immediate Release: March 18, 2005; Release # sr050312
This week the United States Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged five New England organizations that are joining EPA’s Energy Star Challenge – a program that encourages building owners to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings by 10 percent or more and capitalize on environmental benefits and cost savings resulting from these improvements. Among the 20 organizations and businesses nationally that joined EPA in Washington last Tuesday were the following New England associations:
- The Business Council of Fairfield County, Conn.
- The Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University
- The Efficiency Maine Program, State of Maine
- The Efficiency Vermont Program, State of Vermont
- The Building Energy Conservation Initiative and Rebuild New Hampshire, State of New Hampshire
All of these organizations plan to improve building energy efficiency by assessing how much energy each building is using, establishing efficiency improvement goals of 10 percent or greater, and making improvements where cost-effective.
EPA also honored Cambridge Savings Bank, an Energy Star Leader and one of 13 businesses nationally that have been honored for improved energy efficiency by implementing the Energy Star assessment and rating system. Energy Star Leaders are businesses and institutions that are demonstrating that 10 percent improvement and more is within reach for organizations of all types and sizes.
"Improved energy efficiency provides one of the greatest opportunities for cost-effective reduction in pollution and greenhouse gases and improvement in energy security," said Jeff Holmstead, EPA assistant administrator of Air and Radiation. "Our Energy Star Leaders show that we're up to the challenge. With the Energy Star Challenge, we want to repeat and increase these successes at thousands of businesses and institutions across the country."
Commercial and institutional buildings use about $80 billion worth of energy each year and contribute about 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. EPA estimates that if each building owner met the challenge, in 10 years they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions from 15 million cars while saving about $10 billion each year.
“I’m proud of our newest New England energy leaders – the five organizations that were willing to take EPA’s Energy Star Challenge to reduce their consumption by at least 10 percent,” said EPA Regional Administrator Robert W. Varney. “If every building owner in the country joined this challenge, we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions from 15 million vehicles while saving about $10 billion."
EPA offers its national building energy performance rating system to support this challenge. This rating system has already been used to assess the energy efficiency of almost 20,000 buildings across the country.
Cambridge Savings Bank (CSB), New England’s newest Energy Star Leader, has taken a long-term approach to energy conservation efforts, beginning with training programs for staff at all facilities. It's standard practice for employees to turn off lights and computers when they leave their office or a conference room, and turn off all appropriate equipment. Key to CSB's long-term energy conservation efforts is a strategy to incorporate state-of-the-art equipment in new branches.
“I am proud of our employees who embraced our energy-saving initiatives as part of our culture, seeing the value they have to the environment and to our community,” says Kevin J. Fitzgerald, President of CSB. “We all view this as an extension of our core philosophy of supporting the communities that we serve.”
Cambridge Savings Bank has improved the energy efficiency of its 13 bank branch and office buildings by some 20 percent. Bank management sets goals for each building, with incentives for top-performing branches. Energy efficiency improvements have included lighting upgrades for several facilities, major upgrades at others, and adoption of high efficiency designs for new construction. The bank involves employees in its energy program through a training program. The company has enjoyed annual energy cost savings of about $60,000 since putting its energy program in place. Cambridge Savings Bank joined ENERGY STAR in 2004.
Since ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992, more than 7,000 organizations have become ENERGY STAR partners and are committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).