TVA Headquarters Among Nation’s Most Energy Efficient
January 28, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rated the Tennessee Valley Authority’s headquarters in Knoxville among the nation’s most energy-efficient buildings.
TVA’s 12-story, twin-tower Knoxville office complex has received EPA’s Energy Star award, placing the work site for nearly 1,300 TVA employees in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide in energy performance.
Commercial buildings that earn the Energy Star label use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the EPA says.
“TVA has embarked on a renewed effort in energy efficiency, both with our own consumption and with the customers of our electric power,” Senior Vice President of Environment and Technology Anda Ray said. “Saving energy helps reduce power generation and the associated greenhouse gas emissions, and that is something we can all embrace.”
TVA has been able to cut energy use in its headquarters’ offices by 1.5 million kilowatt-hours a year, or about 11 percent, since 2002. That is saving $129,100 a year in electricity costs at today’s prices.
The energy savings also have reduced the Knoxville offices’ environmental footprint by 1,384 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – roughly equal to the yearly greenhouse gas emissions from 265 cars, 180 American homes or 25,638 gas barbeque grills.
The 698,287-square-foot Knoxville office complex was built in 1976 but has received significant energy-saving upgrades in recent years. The improvements include sensors that turn off lights in unoccupied spaces, added wall and roof insulation, double-glazed windows overlooking the towers’ plaza and energy efficient motors and controls for the heating and cooling systems.
TVA Facilities Management’s operations and maintenance staff continues to look for efficiencies. A recent sustainability study by consultants Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon Inc., identified additional lighting, water and electrical system upgrades that could lead to further reductions in energy use at TVA’s headquarters.
Beyond these efforts, the Knoxville office complex has participated for many years in TVA’s Green Power Switch program that supports clean, renewable energy sources, including wind and solar. The complex purchases 250 blocks of green power monthly from the Knoxville Utilities Board. The $12,000 annual expense buys 450,000 green kilowatt-hours yearly – potentially offsetting another 408 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to preserving our environment and our natural resources,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of EPA’s Energy Star commercial and industrial branch. “From office buildings to hotels, supermarkets to schools, the Energy Star distinguishes those organizations who are taking environmental responsibility into their own hands.”
Nearly 9,000 buildings have received the Energy Star label since the program began more than a decade ago, including TVA’s Edney Building offices in Chattanooga in 2001 and TVA’s Chattanooga office complex in 2000.
TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA provides power to large industries and 156 power distributors that serve approximately 9 million consumers in seven southeastern states. TVA also creates economic development opportunities and manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.
For more information about Energy Star, visit http://www.energystar.gov
TVA News Bureau, Knoxville (865) 632-6000