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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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DeBakey VA Earns ENERGY STAR for Superior Energy Efficiency

October 1, 2008

HOUSTON — The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. Commercial buildings and industrial plants that rate in the top 25 percent of facilities in the nation for energy efficiency may qualify for the ENERGY STAR.

“The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said Edgar L. Tucker, director, MEDVAMC. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs and saving taxpayer dollars.”

Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR use an average of 40 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. MEDVAMC improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across its entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its buildings.  MEDVAMC has saved $5,500,000 in annual energy bil

“Whether you are running a grocery store, a school, or an office building, getting the most out of your energy dollars – while reducing your carbon footprint – just makes sense,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

To earn the ENERGY STAR, MEDVAMC took the following actions:  

  • Completed projects to correct power factor.
  • Upgraded general lighting.
  • Replaced chillers and cooling towers with variable speed drive units.
  • Implemented an energy management program with the addition of a full time energy manager.
  • Provided energy awareness training to all new employees.
  • Operate and maintain equipment to obtain maximize energy efficiency.
  • Ensure sustainability is incorporated into all new construction projects and renovations.

EPA’s national energy performance rating system provides a 1-100 scale that helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a rating of 75 or higher is eligible for the ENERGY STAR. Commercial Buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, financial centers, retailers, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, 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 50 different kinds of products, new homes, and commercial and industrial buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR designation prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. In 2006, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved about $16 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 27 million vehicles.

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