Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Winner of the City Employee Energy Challenge Pilot Project
Tuesday Feb 19th, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (FEBRUARY 19, 2013)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was joined by Department of General Services (DGS) Director Steve Sharkey to announce the winner of the City Employee Energy Challenge. During the yearlong pilot project, three City agencies in four buildings competed to lower their energy use by modifying employee behavior.
“Our employees showed us that by working together, they could exceed our expectations and create real savings for taxpayers,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Wasted energy is a cost that can be avoided.”
The City Employee Energy Challenge kicked off in October 2011. Agency energy captains were trained by Baltimore Energy Challenge staff on how to reduce office energy waste. DGS’ Energy Division and the Office of Sustainability took an active role in training employees, analyzing behaviors, and providing motivational materials.
Each building was tracked for energy usage. The winning building was the one that lowered their energy usage compared to average energy use in the previous three years. In 2011, the City gave each agency the goal of lowering their energy use by just 5%.
The headquarters for the Department of Recreation and Parks won the challenge with an energy reduction rate of 17.7%. This is a savings of 228,932 kWh, which is equivalent to $25,182.50.
“We are so proud to have won first place in the competition,” stated Recreation and Parks Director Ernest Burkeen. “The hard work of our energy captain, Rebecca Ebaugh, and the staff helped us to significantly reduce energy usage. We plan to continue these efforts and look forward to lowering costs even more.”
The winning facility will be outfitted with energy-efficient kitchen appliances to replace older, inefficient models. Each building that participated in the challenge has received 50 “smart” surge strips, which turn off computer monitors and other equipment when not in use. These buildings will also be outfitted with lighting occupancy sensors in the coming months.
DGS plans to expand the Employee Energy Challenge in the future to include the use of smart meters, allowing more precise monitoring of energy consumption. This challenge and other measures implemented by the Department of General Services’ Energy Division will help Baltimore City surpass its goal of reducing its energy use by 20% by 2015.