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Release Date: 04/19/1999
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

BOSTON - In honor of Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England Office today is recognizing 232 outstanding New England-area companies and organizations for reducing harmful air pollutants from being released into the atmosphere as a result of their participation in the Energy Star Buildings/Green Lights Partnership.

The goal of this voluntary effort is to reduce air pollution by eliminating energy waste in commercial and industrial buildings. Partners reduce their energy needs and help protect the earth by upgrading their buildings with energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation equipment.

When fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas are burned to generate electricity, emissions such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the environment. These emissions contribute to smog, acid rain and global climate change. By installing energy-efficient technologies, the companies and organizations reduce the amount of energy needed to power their facilities, resulting in cleaner air.

Five New England companies in particular have stepped forward the past six months to boost their commitment to the Energy Star Buildings Partnership. They include:

    • B.J.'s Wholesale Club, headquarters in Natick, MA
    • New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Plymouth, NH
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
    • Jay Peak Ski and Summer Resort, Jay, VT
    • Shaw's Supermarket, headquarters in East Bridgwater, MA
"Earth Day is the perfect time to reflect upon the success these five companies - and all 232 of our New England Energy Star partners - have had reducing their energy needs, saving money and preventing pollution by implementing energy efficiency and strategic energy management," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England Administrator. "We are proud of the efforts our partners are making to protect the environment by increasing the energy efficiency of their buildings."

The environmental benefits from EPA's 232 New England partners - which have cumulatively brought energy-efficiency practices to 408 million square feet of building space - are part of a national effort. As of November 1998, more than 2,800 Energy Star Buildings participants had reduced their carbon use by 22.4 billion kilowatt hours and prevented the emissions of 35.5 billion pounds of carbon dioxide. If energy-efficient technologies were installed in every U.S. commercial and industrial building, the Energy Star Buildings' upgrade approach could prevent up to 35 percent of carbon dioxide emissions associated with these buildings - the equivalent of removing the pollution from 20 million cars for the next decade.

In New England, the Energy Star Buildings partners have cumulatively reduced their energy use by 749.7 million kilowatt hours and have prevented the emissions of just over 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide.

For additional information about the organizations listed above and facts about their progress in Energy Star Buildings, visit the Earth Day energy efficiency "virtual exposition" web site at