Volusia County enters ‘Battle of the Buildings’
Volusia County government has entered the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center and Volusia County Courthouse in the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Energy Star Battle of the Buildings” team challenge.
The buildings are going head-to-head to decrease their energy use, reduce carbon pollution, and save money. This is the fifth annual competition and the first time the county has entered.
“During the past few years, we’ve implemented numerous energy conservation measures, including air-conditioning controls and lighting retrofits, at both buildings,” said George Baker, director of the county’s Central Services Division. “We’ve also been tracking energy consumption in both facilities and have noted marked improvement.”
In the past six months, the county has seen an energy reduction of 279,173 kilowatt hours for both buildings compared to the previous year, equating to a reduction of 193 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. This is equivalent to the total electricity use of 26.5 homes for an entire year, Baker said.
According to the EPA, commercial buildings in the United States spend more than $100 billion in annual utility bills and are responsible for about 20 percent of the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Last year’s competitors saved an estimated $20 million on utility bills.
Building teams will work to optimize or upgrade equipment, retrofit lighting, and change occupants’ behaviors. Competitors will measure and track their buildings’ monthly energy consumption using EPA's online tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
The team that reduces its buildings’ average energy use the most, on a percentage basis over a 12-month period, will be declared the winner in April 2015.
Learn more about the competition at www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings.