Two PNC Plaza has achieved ENERGY STAR® certification, which marks PNC's 52nd ENERGY STAR® certification and signifies the building is 30 percent more efficient than a comparable building in the United States. PNC expects its energy reduction practices, which have reduced Two PNC Plaza's utility bills by more than 20 percent, to deliver a return on investment in less than one year.
Among its efforts to achieve certification, PNC:
- installed LED lights with motion sensors in parking garages and stairwells;
- eliminated approximately 50 percent of light fixtures;
- reduced current to light fixtures by approximately 50 percent; and
- programmed lights to automatically shut off during evening hours.
"Similar to the LEED® rating system, ENERGY STAR® certification demonstrates PNC's commitment to designing high performance buildings," said Nana Wilberforce, PNC's energy manager. "Our implementation of energy efficiency practices in PNC buildings has optimized lighting, contributed to a 15 percent reduction in energy costs and delivered an overall return on investment in approximately three years."
PNC has conducted lighting retrofits and installed occupancy sensors, which prompt lights to shut off automatically in unoccupied spaces, in more than 20 office buildings and 700 branches. Since 2009, lighting retrofits and occupancy sensors have contributed to PNC's 10 percent reduction in energy consumption. This exceeds PNC's three percent annual reduction goal and moves the company closer to reaching its 30 percent reduction goal by 2020 (2009 baseline).
PNC monitors energy consumption for its entire real estate portfolio with an interactive tool by ENERGY STAR® that allows the company to compare its buildings' energy consumption to national averages and to track individual buildings' performance over time. The performance metrics also help PNC determine which buildings should be retrofitted first to optimize efficiency and reduce operating expenses.
"Increasing energy efficiency is an effective strategy for cutting costs with strong returns," said Gary Saulson, PNC's director of corporate real estate. "Businesses that implement energy management programs often experience lower operating expenses, higher occupancy rates and increased asset value."
PNC has 176 LEED-certified projects, including more newly constructed LEED-certified buildings than any company on Earth, and has committed more than three and a half million square feet to the Green Building Alliance's Pittsburgh 2030 District, a community of high performance buildings in Downtown Pittsburgh that aims to achieve 50 percent reductions in energy, water and transportation emissions by the year 2030.