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Release Date: 11/19/1999
Contact Information: Dawn Harris, Media Relations, 404-562-8421
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that The Valvoline Company has fulfilled its voluntary commitment to EPA’s Energy Star Buildings and Green Lights Partnership. With the assistance of Eco-Engineering, an energy services company located in Ohio, Valvoline reduced energy use in 398 corporate- owned Valvoline Instant Oil Change service centers and 11 manufacturing and distributing facilities nationwide. By installing energy-efficient lighting in these facilities, Valvoline reduced electricity used for lighting by more than 50 percent. These improvements are saving the company more than $180,000 annually.

Valvoline retained Eco-Engineering to upgrade more than 1.8 million square feet of facility space with lighting technologies that last longer, use less electricity, and provide brighter lights in work areas and customer waiting areas. As a result, the company reduced its electricity consumption by more than two million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and increased worker productivity and customer comfort. Since the production of electricity usually involves burning fossil fuels like coal and oil, the lighting upgrades translate into an “air pollution reduction” of 4.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide, 43,520 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 15,580 pounds of nitrogen oxide per year. This means less smog, less acid rain, and a reduced risk of climate change worldwide.

“I congratulate The Valvoline Company for its commitment to environmental protection and energy conservation,” said John H. Hankinson, Jr., EPA Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “The Energy Star Buildings and Green Lights Partnership Program proves that environmental stewardship can also yield significant cost savings through reduced expenditures.”

Valvoline has always endeavored to be environmentally conscious,” notes Don Gebhardt, Valvoline’s principal environmental engineer, “and with outstanding support from both the EPA and Eco-Engineering, these upgrades were an easy way to make a very significant impact that benefits everyone. We hope our results will stand as an example of how relatively easy it is to attain goals of increasing energy efficiency and preventing air pollution.”

Lighting accounts for 30 to 40 percent of electricity use in commercial and industrial buildings in the United States. Lighting energy use can be reduced by 50 to 75 percent through the installation of energy-efficient technologies. If every commercial and industrial building used energy-efficient lighting where profitable, this would cut the nation’s energy bill by $12 billion annually and prevent 15 percent of the air pollution associated with these buildings.

Initiated in 1991, Energy Star Buildings and Green Lights has more than 4,000 participants nationwide. As of June 1999, these participants are saving 11 billion kWh and more than $800 million in energy costs. Their investments in energy-efficient technologies are also preventing the emissions of 19 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year – the equivalent to planting more than 2 million acres of trees.

For additional information about Energy Star Buildings and Green Lights, visit EPA’s web site at