February 18, 2010
HOUSTON — The Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR label for 2009, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. Commercial buildings, Hospitals, 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 Adam C. Walmus, director, MEDVAMC. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs and saving taxpayer dollars.”
Buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR label 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. Based on EPA’s Energy Star data, MEDVAMC has a cost avoidance of approximately $5 million in annual energy bills compared to typical buildings of the same size.
To earn the ENERGY STAR, MEDVAMC took the following actions:
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. 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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