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EPA Administrator Looks to Telecommunications Industry for Increased Energy Efficiency Opportunities

Release Date: 11/16/2001
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New York, N.Y. -- EPA Administrator Christie Whitman today looked to the telecommunications industry to help EPA increase energy efficiency and establish a benchmarking tool for central offices. Central offices house the computers and other equipment needed to connect and switch phone lines. Whitman took the opportunity to recognize the leadership of Verizon as an ENERGY STAR J partner.

"With the help of Verizon and other partners, we are looking forward to expanding the benefits of ENERGY STAR to the telecommunications industry so that they can reap the financial and environmental benefits of energy efficiency," said Whitman. "We hope to add central offices to the growing list of buildings that can be benchmarked and rewarded for top performance through ENERGY STAR and we will work with industry leaders like Verizon to make this happen."

Every year the telecommunications industry spends over $2 billion to power its facilities. The facilities require more energy per square foot than all other commercial buildings. Central offices are highly energy intensive. A 10 percent reduction in energy use could save the industry over $200 million a year and prevent 2 million tons of carbon emissions.

Verizon was honored earlier this year with a 2001 ENERGY STAR J Partner of the Year award. At today's event Whitman presented the company with ENERGY STAR J labels for their Maryland and DC headquarter buildings.

Verizon is helping EPA develop a benchmarking tool for central offices. These tools enable comparison of building energy use across a company's own portfolio of buildings as well as comparison to other similar buildings across the nation. Already, the tool is available for office buildings, K-12 schools, supermarkets, and hospitals. It is available, along with other program information at http://www.energystar.gov. The tool also helps companies identify buildings where they can make energy efficient improvements and allows the best- performing buildings to be distinguished by ENERGY STAR J labels.

ENERGY STAR J offers consumers and businesses recommendations on how to improve their energy efficiency. In 2000 alone, ENERGY STAR J helped save enough energy to power 10 million homes and reduced air pollution equivalent to taking 10 million cars off the road. While accomplishing this for the environment, the program also saved Americans more than $5 billion on their energy bills without sacrificing product features or personal comfort.

EPA established ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for energy efficiency, in 1992. With help from the U.S. Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR J is empowering consumers and businesses through energy efficiency. For more information on ENERGY STAR, go to http://www.energystar.gov or call 1- 888-STAR-YES.