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Ada County Courthouse Earns EPA Energy Efficiency Award

Release Date: 10/13/2004
Contact Information: Robert Fallis
(206) 553-8293

October 12, 2004

Ada County administrators today will receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious ENERGY STARŪ Award for their efforts to make the Ada County Courthouse in Boise more energy efficient – and environmentally friendly.

Jim Werntz, the Director of the EPA’s Idaho Operations Office will present the award at a courthouse ceremony at 4:00 P.M. this afternoon. Kristen Bertram of the National Association of Counties (NACO) in Washington, D.C. will discuss NACO’s Courthouse Energy Efficiency Improvement Campaign.

The Ada County courthouse is the first courthouse in the nation to earn the EPA honors since NACO began its energy efficiency campaign.

The Ada County Courthouse uses about 40% less energy than the average courthouse and thus costs about 40% less to heat, cool, and light. As a result, the building prevents greenhouse gases and other air emissions associated with the energy generated to operate the building. Ada County joined the EPA’s ENERGY STARŪ Buildings Partners program and incorporated energy-efficiency into its day-to-day operations by identifying and implementing methods to conserve energy while maintaining the building’s efficiency. The county is also comparing the energy efficiency of all of its buildings to similar buildings throughout the country and using the EPA’s integrated approach for reducing energy costs by systematically upgrading the energy efficiency of its buildings.

There is mounting evidence that many of these energy-efficiency upgrades are also producing improvements in the indoor environment of their buildings. These in turn have been shown to improve the health and productivity of building occupants and to provide other benefits.

The county compared the findings on its energy consumption, climate, square footage, building use and indoor air quality to the criteria in the EPA’s ENERGY STARŪ Buildings program and found that the building’s efficiency placed it in the top 25 percent when compared to the other office buildings in the country.

“We are excited to provide this award to the Ada County Courthouse,” says James Werntz, EPA’s Representative from the Idaho Operations Office. “As an ENERGY STARŪ Partner, Ada County has committed itself to similar improvements in energy efficiency at theirs other facilities with the much greater cost savings, and protection of the environment, that will result.”

Buildings nationwide can qualify for the ENERGY STAR by earning a score of 75 or higher on EPA's 100-point energy performance rating system. They must also meet industry standards for comfort and indoor air quality, as verified by a professional engineer. To date, over 1,700 of the nation's most energy efficient buildings have earned EPA's ENERGY STARŪ designation for superior energy performance. Buildings receiving these awards use about 40 percent less energy than average building, without compromising comfort, indoor air quality, or services.

In 2002 alone, ENERGY STARŪ qualifying buildings spent $130 million less in energy bills and reduced carbon dioxide by 2.6 billion pounds compared to average buildings. Among the top performing buildings are 871 Office properties; 383 public schools and 471 hospitals, hotels and supermarkets.

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