EPA’s Biggest (Energy) Loser is AL Town

MONDAY, MAY 11, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC—A five-building cluster in a small Alabama town has won the fifth annual
Battle of the Buildings, trimming 25 percent from its energy waste line.

Competing against 112 teams nationwide, including some large corporate players, Woodville’s town hall, community center, chapel, co-op building and wastewater treatment plant implemented a variety of upgrades to prevail in the competition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in its award announcement.

The top performer was the Woodville Chapel, which slashed energy usage by 68.4 percent during the 12-month contest period. The chapel was also recognized as the competition's single biggest energy loser, besting over 5,500 buildings.

Overall Contest Stats

Overall, more than 5,500 individual buildings across the U.S. competed in the 2014 Energy Star Battle of the Buildings Competition: Team Challenge.

Together, they saved more than $50 million, cut their energy use by more than two billion kBtus (thousand British thermal units), and prevented 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions—equal to the annual energy use of more than 37,000 homes.

EPA Top Teams

Teams from Walgreens and Sears rounded out the top three competitors. More than 5,500 buildings competed in 112 teams, representing more than $50 million in energy savings.

On average, competitors reduced their energy use by 6 percent, equivalent to an average savings of almost $20,000 per building.

“EPA's Energy Star Battle of the Buildings Competition brings together communities to find important solutions to reduce harmful carbon pollution fueling climate change, save energy, and significantly reduce energy costs in the places where we work, play, and learn,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

“It's great to see the collaboration and hard work the competition inspires to accomplish energy efficiency measures that will continue to benefit these communities for years to come."

Upgrades for the Win

The winning “Going Blue for Woodville” team was able to kick-start the contest with a retrofit of its wastewater treatment plant from a single-phase power system to a three-phase power system.

Other buildings received technology upgrades throughout the year, such as Wi-Fi programmable thermostats and LED lights and timers.

Building occupants also turned off all electrical items not in use, EPA said. The town trimmed about $2,000 off its energy bill during the competition.

Woodville is a town of 741 people located in Jackson County, about 25 miles southeast of Huntsville.

Top Teams, Buildings

Ranking second in the competition was the Walgreens team, organized by Burton Energy Group. The team, consisting of five warehouses in four states, shaved 17.5 percent off its energy usage and had an estimated cost savings of more than $1.4 million.

Top buildings

Woodville Chapel topped the list of invidual buildings, followed by the CCI Center in Pittsburgh, PA, which trimmed energy use by 61.4 percent. The Timken Museum of Art in San Diego came in third, with a 50.2 percent slash in energy usage.

Energy improvement projects included installing energy monitoring systems as well as lighting and HVAC upgrades.

Rounding out the top three was the Sears Holdings Corp. team, "Remotti's Ropers," consisting of five Sears store locations. The team chopped energy use by 17.3 percent, with an estimated cost savings of $120,700, according to EPA.

Sears also had three other teams—five buildings each—compete in the battle. Those teams also finished in the top 15.

Following the Woodville Chapel, the CCI Center in Pittsburgh, PA, which trimmed energy use by 61.4 percent, came in second place in terms of individual buildings. The Timken Museum of Art in San Diego came in third, with a 50.2 percent slash in energy usage.

A complete list of winners and stories behind the teams are featured in the EPA’s Battle of the Buildings Wrap-Up Report.


Tagged categories: Building operations; Business management; Contests; Energy efficiency; Energy Star; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Government; Maintenance + Renovation; North America

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