Contact Us

Newsroom

Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

14th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum, Washington, D.C.

06/11/2003
Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
to the
14th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum
Washington, D.C.

June 11, 2002


Thank you and good morning. It's good to be back with you again this year.

I think it's especially appropriate for me to be here today - in just a couple of weeks I will be inaugurating my own energy conservation program back home in New Jersey, and I'm looking forward to it.

As you know, over the past several years, EPA has focused on bringing Energy Star to the commercial marketplace. We've been working with various sectors to develop A benchmarks@ and to promote efficiency.

For instance, as we looked at the commercial landscape, we found that building managers needed tools to measure where their buildings were in relation to their peers B so we developed them. These energy performance rating tools have allowed managers to measure their own performance, compare it with others, and set goals for improvement.

We've also provided an incentive B buildings that perform in the top 25 percent of the market are eligible to earn the Energy Star, the best known symbol of one's commitment to a cleaner environment through responsible energy use.

I'm pleased to say that all these efforts are bearing fruit B so I thought I'd use this opportunity to report on the progress that's been made over the past year.

First, I am pleased to report on the growing effort in the building sector to earn an Energy Star. So far, more than 1,200 buildings across the United States have earned the Energy Star. Those buildings use 40 percent less energy than an average building, saving not only energy but our environment as well.

Among those 1,200 Energy Star facilities are office buildings, public schools, supermarkets, hospitals, and hotels. There are numerous examples across the Energy Star constellation of companies that have made an unusually strong commitment to Energy Star. For example, in the grocery business, 21 percent of the industry has benchmarked and about 80 stores have earned the Energy Star.

The king of the jungle in this sector is clearly Food Lion, a grocery chain with more than 1,200 stores in 11 states. Food Lion has committed itself to becoming the leader in energy efficiency for supermarkets B and they're off to a great start.

Every new store Food Lion opens B and every one they remodel B is equipped with the latest energy-efficient lighting, heating, and cooling technology available. According to food Lion, each of these stores saves as much as 43,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually B enough to power four American homes for an entire year.

Those savings also provide real environmental benefits. Each Energy Star Food Lion store prevents more than 63,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. That's the same as taking six cars off the road or planting 9 acres of trees.

Those savings all add up. All together, Food Lion's energy efficiency commitment saved nearly 30 million kilowatt hours of energy B preventing as much CO2 emissions each year as if 4,500 cars were taken off the road or nearly 6,200 acres of trees were planted.

Another sector that has really embraced Energy Star is the office building industry.. The clear leader here is USAA Real Estate Company, which has offices just across the river in Arlington, Virginia. USAA real estate manages some 28 million square feet of assets B the equivalent of 20 Empire State Buildings.

USAA Real Estate has benchmarked every one of its buildings and has qualified nearly half of them for the Energy Star. They have integrated Energy Star and energy efficiency into their overall business strategy and the bottom line has benefitted. They have reduced energy consumption across their entire portfolio in just one year by 5 percent.

As these results indicate, it's no wonder EPA last month named both Food Lion and USAA Real estate as Energy Star Partners of the Year. And these are just two examples out of thousands B thousands of companies that are making real their commitment to environmental protection through energy efficiency. As the reach of Energy Star grows, so do the benefits to our environment and our energy security.

Last year, through Energy Star, American business and consumers saved more than $7 billion in energy costs. They saved enough to power 15 million homes B or as many homes as you'd find in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Energy Star products and practices also reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 14 million cars, which would be like taking all the cars off the Washington Beltway for 62 days.

I also want to point out a recent study conducted by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. They looked at the stock market performance of companies that are leaders in energy management. They found that these companies outperformed their competitors by at least 20 percent. Innovest = s analysis suggests that strong performance in the area of environmental and energy management is a good indicator for strong performance in general. That doesn= t come as any surprise to me, or, I imagine, to you.

EPA's ongoing commitment to Energy Star reflects President Bush's strong belief in the importance of building partnerships to promote environmental protection. Across the board, we are finding that partnerships such as those that have made Energy Star such a success can be applied in other areas, such as cleaner diesel engines and greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing.

It's the partnership aspect of Energy Star that makes it such a success. It's a program everyone can participate in B whether you're buying a DVD player or a you're a big player in the real estate market. That is why I am confident that the Energy Star will continue to shine brightly in the years ahead, as more and more companies and consumers make the right choice and choose Energy Star.

Thank you.