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Friday, November 11, 2011

Ohio Schools Soar in EPA's ENERGY STAR Competition

The results are in, and two northeast Ohio schools have earned bragging rights in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 national “Battle of the Buildings” competition. Twinsburg High School and Sports Complex in Twinsburg, Ohio was awarded first place in the K-12 school division, and second place overall in the November 2, 2011 published results. Polaris Career Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio was awarded second place in the K-12 division and third place overall.

The second annual competition included teams from 254 commercial buildings from across the country. These teams were given the challenge of saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by improving efficiencies in their properties. Energy use was tracked over a 12-month period using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® online tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. The building with the greatest percentage reduction in energy use, adjusted for weather and size of building, was recognized as the winner. First and second place winners in the K-12 school division and their accomplishments are as follows:

1st Place: Twinsburg High School & Sports Complex
Twinsburg, OH
Reduced energy use by 46.3%
Annual cost savings of $505,323
Greenhouse gas emissions prevented: 2,412 metric tons

2nd Place: Polaris Career Center
Middleburg Heights, OH
Reduced energy use by 43.4%
Annual cost savings of $220,902
Greenhouse gas emissions prevented: 1,071 metric tons

Mike Lenzo, assistant superintendent of the Twinsburg School District, enlisted the help of CCG Energy Solutions, Inc. of Richfield, OH to realize his goal of cutting energy costs while improving the safety and comfort of his buildings. “We were eager to see if our savings would be close to what CCG had projected for this project, and were thrilled when the actual results far exceeded those projections,” says Lenzo. “To place first in our category in this national competition is truly icing on the cake.”

Brian Wagner, president of CCG Energy Solutions is quick to share the credit. “The combination of having truly dedicated customers working together with our professional team is what makes these projects award-winners,” says Wagner.

Mark Miciak, maintenance coordinator at Polaris Career Center, was also pleased with the results he attained with the help of CCG Energy Solutions’ energy reduction plan. “It was a team effort that got us to this point - and we are proud of the national recognition of our energy savings efforts,” Miciak states. “The real reward, however, will be in our reduced energy consumption in the years to come."

According to the EPA, the Battle of the Buildings is the only national competition of its kind. Its goal is to motivate and educate the nation to improve efficiencies in the way commercial buildings are managed. EPA statistics show that commercial buildings account 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.

The Battle of the Buildings competition promotes the sharing of ideas for energy conservation and boasts that collectively, the participants in the 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition will save $5.2 million per year on their utility bills. They will also save more than 240 million kBtus of energy annually, and prevent nearly 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, equal to the emissions from the electricity used by more than 3,600 homes per year.

To learn more about the EPA’s Battle of the Buildings, click here.