| December 18, 2008 -
The Miller’s Building, KUB’s downtown Knoxville headquarters, has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) prestigious ENERGY STAR, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. Commercial buildings and industrial plants that rate in the top 25 percent of facilities in the nation for energy efficiency may qualify for the ENERGY STAR.
The Miller’s Building, located at 445 S. Gay Street, was originally built in 1905. KUB moved into the renovated facility in 2000. The building quickly served as a catalyst for other downtown Knoxville redevelopment.
"KUB is pleased to accept EPA’s ENERGY STAR in recognition of the efficiency of the Miller's Building,” said Mintha Roach, KUB President and CEO. "Having an Energy Star building means that our utility costs are lower than they would be in a non-Energy Star building. That saves KUB money, and that helps us to keep rates low for our customers.”
Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR, including the Miller’s Building, use an average of 40 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A review of the Miller's Building found that it is about 27 percent more efficient than the typical office building of its size. This efficiency generates about $78,000 in estimated annual utility savings.
KUB is working to improve its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its buildings.
“Whether you are running a grocery store, a school, or an office building, getting the most out of your energy dollars – while reducing your carbon footprint – just makes sense,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.
The Miller’s Building was able to achieve the rating without any significant capital improvements, mostly due to the high efficiency of its closed loop water source heat pump. However, other efforts that contributed to the rating include the following:
Efficient lighting – The Miller’s Building uses compact fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent T8 tubes with electronic ballasts. In addition, seventeen of the twenty-four metal halide lights for the atrium were turned off.
Daylighting – With large exterior windows and an open atrium, occupants benefit from plenty of daylight.
LED Exit Signs – All the exit signs in the Miller’s Building have efficient LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs.
Employee Outreach and Education – KUB held a series of Green Challenges for its employees to remind them to turn off lights, report leaks, and complete other environmental tasks.
Portable Desk Heaters – KUB has initiated a campaign to remove energy-guzzling portable desk heaters.
Efficient Computers – All of KUB’s computers are Energy Star and have had their Energy Management Settings set to hibernate when not in use.
Background Information On ENERGY STAR
EPA’s national energy performance rating system provides a 1-100 scale that helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a rating of 75 or higher is eligible for the ENERGY STAR. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, financial centers, retailers, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, and warehouses.
The EPA introduced ENERGY STAR in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 50 different kinds of products, new homes and commercial and industrial buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR designation prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. In 2006, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved about $16 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 27 million vehicles.
To learn more about ENERGY STAR, go to www.energystar.gov. For more information about KUB’s environmental initiatives, visit the environment tab on www.kub.org.
KUB, a municipal utility serving Knox and parts of seven adjacent counties, provides reliable electric, gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 439,000 customers. For more information about KUB, visit www.kub.org.