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DWM Celebrates Savings at Midpoint of EPA’s Energy Star National Building Competition

Post Date:11/13/2012 5:15 PM
Mayor Kasim Reed press release header

 Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Scheree Rawles, Director
Communications & Community Relations

Department of Watershed Management
Office: 404-546-3212
Cell: 404-971-8899

Jo Ann J. Macrina, PE





News Release

DWM Celebrates Savings at Midpoint of EPA’s Energy Star
National Building Competition


ATLANTA – The Department of Watershed Management’s Hemphill Water Treatment Plant is in second place in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star 2012 National Building Competition at the competition’s midpoint, which ended June 30, 2012. In the Battle of the Buildings competition, Hemphill saw a 36 percent energy use reduction, saving almost $800,000 and preventing 9,200 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions so far over the competition’s 2011 baseline period.

The competition pits more than 3,200 nationwide competitors in an effort to see which one can achieve the greatest energy reductions in a year. In the first six months of the challenge, the competitors collectively have saved more than $37 million on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by more than 16,000 homes annually.

In September 2011, the Department of Watershed Management completed installation and commissioning of a variable-speed pumping system located at the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant. The $15 million project is expected to save over $1 million per year in energy costs.

Additionally, a lighting retrofit involving replacement of about 4,300 inefficient fixtures with high-efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting at the Hemphill and Chattahoochee Water Treatment Plans and the RM Clayton Water Reclamation Center, is expected to save the City more than $400,000 annually in energy and maintenance costs. Because the city’s water treatment facilities operate 24/7, there is significant potential for energy savings in lighting systems through retrofits, replacements, and occupancy-based controls.

The Power to Change Sustainability Fund provided $1.2 million in 2012 for replacement of lighting in the three facilities, with completion scheduled before the end of the year.

“This competition represents an effective energy-saving partnership between the City’s Office of Sustainability and the Department of Watershed Management,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Macrina. “We are proud of our results and will use these kinds of programs across the Department to achieve further financial and energy savings.”

The teams in the 2012 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition represent more than 30 different types of commercial buildings — such as retail stores, schools, hotels, and museums — and hail from all 50 states, two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. The competitors range from a Kmart store on the island of St. Thomas, to a crime lab in Phoenix, to a tiny federal office building in Nome, Alaska.

EPA is maintaining a website devoted to the competition,
Buildings, featuring a list the competitors and their “weigh-in” results, a live Twitter feed where competitors will post updates on their progress, and a user-generated photo stream where competitors will upload pictures of their energy-saving efforts.

According to EPA, energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and energy use at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. On average, 30 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.

To see midpoint results for all competitors and learn more about the competition, visit:

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