For the first time, the Scranton State Office Building has earned the prestigious ENERGY STAR® award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for superior energy efficiency, the Pennsylvania Department of General Services announced today.
"This award is a reflection of our continued commitment to make state-owned facilities in Pennsylvania as energy efficient as possible," said DGS Secretary James P. Creedon. "By reducing energy consumption in state office buildings, we are saving taxpayers' money, while helping to 'green' our environment."
The energy performance of the Scranton State Office Building, located at 100 Lackawanna Ave., rates in the top 25 percent of facilities nationwide and reflects the state's commitment to being a smart energy consumer.
Creedon said that energy consumption in state office buildings, including Scranton and others in Harrisburg and Reading, has dropped by 23 percent to date, saving taxpayers $2.4 million annually.
Energy consumption at the Scranton State Office Building has dropped by 22 percent in the past year. The utility and operational savings generated by the improvements total more than $142,400 annually. Additionally, water consumption in the past year was reduced by more than 1.5 million gallons, or a decrease of 52 percent. The amount of water saved could fill over two Olympic-sized swimming pools.
"Just as smart homeowners do, we are finding ways to reduce our expenses by making cost-effective changes that not only save money, but also help to reduce harmful emissions," Creedon added.
Energy-efficient improvements to the Scranton State Office Building include:
- Lighting upgrades; replacing incandescent with fluorescent lamps and compact fluorescent bulbs, installing motion sensors, and using lighting timers;
- Water conservation upgrades; installing aerator restrictors on faucets and using low-flow restroom fixtures by replacing equipment that used up to five-gallons per use with 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf);
- Building automation upgrades; using features similar to programmable thermostats to ensure maximum efficiency;
- Weatherization and insulation upgrades; replacing doors, sealing, weather stripping and caulking all windows and openings around electrical and pipe penetrations. Work also included the use of specialized ENERGY STAR roof coating to reduce heat absorbance;
- Heating and ventilation upgrades; upgrading the air and water distribution systems, and by testing and balancing air handling systems;
- Adding "vending misers" to power down vending machines when not in use;
- Power distribution upgrades; using smart-metering and load-shedding technology to enable the state to manage "real-time" electricity use.
Over a one-year period, energy use at Scranton was reduced by 886,415 kilowatt hours (KWh). That is the equivalent of removing annual greenhouse gas emissions generated from 122 passenger vehicles, or equivalent to removing the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused by the electricity use of 77 homes.
Built in 1976, the Scranton State Office Building houses about 560 employees working in seven state agencies on four floors.
DGS also plans to apply for a Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the Scranton state office building. LEED is the nation's preeminent certification program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Products and buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government.
Last year alone, with the help of ENERGY STAR, Americans saved nearly $17 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 30 million vehicles.