Flex Your Power Honors California's Energy-Efficiency Leaders of 2004

Flex Your Power Honors California's Energy-Efficiency Leaders of 2004

Flex Your Power, California's statewide energy efficiency education and outreach initiative, has announced the 20 winners of its 2004 Energy Efficiency Awards. The annual awards recognize businesses, government agencies, and institutions that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and extraordinary contributions to advance energy efficiency in California. Each of the 2004 award recipients is committed to helping California reach its stated goal of reducing energy purchases 20% by the year 2015.

Commissioner Susan P. Kennedy of the California Public Utilities Commission said, "California recently adopted the most aggressive energy efficiency goals in the nation. These energy savings can be achieved if all Californians are as committed to energy efficiency and conservation as the 2004 Flex Your Power Award Winners are."

While all the Flex Your Power Award recipients are thrilled to be helping the state reach its energy efficiency goals and protecting our environment, many of the winners also emphasize that energy efficiency improvements make financial sense for their respective organizations.

John Schinter, national energy manager for Bank of America, cited $8.24 million in savings and cost avoidance achieved through energy efficiency improvements in 2004 alone. "For Bank of America, a central appeal of energy efficiency investments is the long term return on investment. For example, if we invest in energy-efficient light fixtures or heating/cooling technologies today, we reap the savings throughout the long life of the product." Bank of America has set a goal of reducing total annual energy use through energy efficiency-enhanced building operations and employee education throughout its entire portfolio of facilities, which includes more than 17 million square feet of space in California.

"We saved more than $13 million in energy cost over the last four years through a consistent commitment to efficiency and conservation," said San Jose mayor Ron Gonzales. "Especially during these times of tight budgets for local government, these are ongoing savings that help us deliver high priority city services to our residents and businesses."

San Jose city employees have changed energy behaviors, put in efficient lighting, heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, and installed variable speed drives on water pumps and "cool roofs" at city facilities. Continuing and extensive energy-efficiency enhancements are outlined in the San Jose Sustainable Energy Action Plan.

Tim Speller of PETCO Animal Supplies Inc. agreed, "PETCO has realized significant financial savings through our investments in energy-efficiency -- we have shaved $65,000 off our monthly energy bills in California. It would be bad business for PETCO not to invest in energy efficiency. The fact that these investments also help protect the environment and help the state are definitely added benefits."

The diverse winners included private companies, water agencies, homebuilders, local governments, and statewide institutions. Awards will be presented at events throughout the state during the month of February. A complete list of winners and details about their efforts are available online.