New Britain, CT The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Energize Connecticut partners Eversource, The United Illuminating Company (UI), Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas as a 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year for Energy Efficiency Program Delivery. The Energy Star Partner of the Year Award, one of the EPA’s highest honors, highlights outstanding commitments to the creation and promotion of environmentally responsible energy efficiency initiatives. The Program Delivery category specifically recognizes states, utilities, and organizations that create and support innovative energy efficiency programs that provide benefits to their communities and customers.
“As a leader in Energy Star program implementation, Eversource and UI are helping transform the energy efficiency market,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. “Using Energy Star resources, these companies are expanding access to energy-saving practices to grow the economy and protect the environment.”
Together, UI and Eversource administer Energize Connecticut programs, an initiative to help consumers save money and use clean, affordable energy. Energy Star resources and products are a component of several of these programs.
“Our longstanding relationship with the EPA and the ENERGY STAR brand allows us to better inform and educate our customers, helping them make smart energy choices,” said Anthony Marone, senior vice president, customer & business services for UI, SCG and CNG. “We look forward to expanding our efforts to provide a positive impact to our residential and business customers alike.”
“We’ll continue to support and engage our customers to help them become more energy efficient,” said Penni Conner, chief customer officer and senior vice president of customer care for Eversource Energy. “With Connecticut being among the national leaders in energy efficiency, the continued strength of these programs and ENERGY STAR products is crucial as we reach out to the next generation of consumers.”
Representatives from both companies will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 13.
In 2015, the Eversource and UI accomplished the following in Connecticut:
• Increased sales of ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs to more than 2.1 million in 2015, representing 57 percent of the lighting product mix in Connecticut and a 400 percent increase since 2013.
• Incentivized the sale of almost 12,000 ENERGY STAR certified HVAC and water heating products, representing savings of almost 3.2 million kWh annually and 42.3 million kWh over the lifetime of the measures, and an increase of over 900 percent in some equipment categories compared to sales in 2013.
• Expanded partnerships with heating and water heating distributors and contractors in the state to encompass 99 percent of all equipment distributors, 100 percent of water heating retailers, and more than 480 equipment installation contractors.
• Focused on reaching underserved market segments, including elderly, bilingual, and low-income customers. In 2015, the Retail Products program expanded to promote ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs to over 220 discount chains and small local demographic stores or bodegas, and worked with manufacturers to provide ENERGY STAR educational and marketing materials in other languages such as Spanish and Chinese, helping to drive the sale of more than 126,000 ENERGY STAR certified bulbs to underserved markets statewide.
• Opened the new, expanded Energize Connecticut Center in North Haven, Connecticut, which hosts school tours, community events, seminars, and small meetings for industry partners and local businesses. The Center supports all Energize Connecticut programs, and heavily features ENERGY STAR throughout its many exhibits. Since opening in April 2015, the Center has already welcomed over 11,000 visitors and hosted 125 school tours.
• Worked with over 150 municipalities across Connecticut to benchmark more than 1,500 public buildings using the EPA Portfolio Manager, and used these results as the basis for the development of municipal action plans that lay out specific energy efficiency improvements to achieve 20 percent savings by 2018.
• Developed and implemented the innovative Bright Idea Grants award system, through which municipalities earn points for participation in utility efficiency programs, and can redeem these points for additional grants to fund the implementation of energy-saving projects in their municipal action plans.
For a complete list of 2016 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit www.energystar.gov/awardwinners.