New England Small Businesses Capture Savings and Energy Star Awards
Two New England companies were among just 14 nationwide recognized by EPA and the U.S. Dept. of Energy for superior energy-efficiency in small businesses. The two companies – Planet Subaru of Hanover, Mass. and Duncaster, Inc. of Bloomfield, Conn. – achieved the Energy Star awards for their efforts to reduce energy use, save money and prevent polluting air emissions.
“EPA commends the environmental efforts of Planet Subaru and Duncaster, Inc.” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Their actions demonstrate how simple measures and improved energy management can both save money and reduce air pollution, and should encourage more small businesses in New England to take advantage of ENERGY STAR tools to maximize energy efficiency, cut costs, and reduce harmful environmental impacts.”
Planet Subaru improves energy efficiency by using operable windows, programmable thermostats, passive solar heat, increased insulation, and a specially-designed garage door that close rapidly to minimize loss of heated and cooled air. Owners Jeff and John Morrill also upgraded exterior lighting, and created outdoor lighting zones that run on timers and photo sensors. The Morrill brothers encourage staff contributions to efficiency efforts by providing bonuses and other recognition to employees for energy efficiency initiatives. The company has worked to with National Grid to implement these measures, which have resulted in a savings of 125,000 kWh worth of electricity and more than $22,000 each year, while preventing about 220,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Duncaster, Inc. saves $18,000 annually on its operation of the Caleb Hitchcock Nursing Home and Health Center through partnerships with utility provider Connecticut Light and Power, the State’s Public Utility Control, and creation of internal energy campaigns. The results of these collaborations include: installation of ten ENERGY STAR qualified transformers, lighting retrofits, use of programmable thermostats, and a facility-wide education program that involves residents. These measures resulted in a reduction of 187,000 pounds of CO2 per year.
EPA introduced the Energy Star program in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, in partnership with DOE, the program offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations.
In 2006 alone, ENERGY STAR helped Americans save $14 billion on their energy bills and avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 25 million vehicles.
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