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The Albemarle County Office Building on 5th Street earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR® for Superior Energy Efficiency
10/27/2010

The Albemarle County Office Building located on 5th Street has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. This signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.  This is the 2nd County Office Building to receive the ENERGY STAR – the McIntire Rd. building earned the award in September 2008. This achievement is due in part to the County’s aggressive goal to reduce energy usage in local government buildings by 30% by the end of 2012. As of July 2010, Albemarle has reduced its overall energy consumption from local government buildings by 20.3% as compared to its baseline year of 2005. 

"The County is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said County Executive Bob Tucker.  “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”

Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR use an average of 35% less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Albemarle County improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its building(s).

To earn the ENERGY STAR at the 5th Street office building, the County has:

  • conducted an investment-grade energy audit
  • used software to track, benchmark and monitor energy use
  • replaced many older lights with more energy efficient lighting
  • reduced or removed unnecessary lighting
  • installed a solar thermal system to reduce the use of natural gas for heating water in the building
  • installed low-flow fixtures and showerheads
  • installed over 100 occupancy sensors
  • replaced aging equipment
  • incentivized employees by launching a friendly departmental competition called “Un-plug Albemarle”
  • dedicated a large portion of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds from the Department of Energy (DOE) towards energy efficiency improvements in facilities

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment, “ said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR.”

EPA’s ENERGY STAR energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale is eligible for the ENERGY STAR. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship, and warehouses.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, new homes, and commercial and industrial buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved nearly $17 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 30 million vehicles.

For more information about ENERGY STAR visit www.energystar.gov/buildings.
For more information about Albemarle County’s energy program, please visit:
www.albemarle.org/environment.


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