Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

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Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star National Building Competition.

Each of the offices reduced energy use by 29.6 percent in 2013, placing them in the ninth and 10th spots among more than 3,200 buildings entered into the contest.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency organizes the friendly rivalry to recognize schools, stores, warehouses and offices that are among the nation’s “biggest energy losers” in terms of tons dropped in greenhouse gas emissions and money saved on utility costs.

Claiborne Elementary School in Baton Rouge, La., tops the list with a 45.9 percent decrease in energy consumption, $114,500 saved and 488 metric tons of greenhouse gases reduced.

In an April 17 news release, EPA officials said Clairborne taught students and teachers about adjusting thermostats, keeping doors and windows closed when the heat or air conditioning is on and turning off lights when no one was in the room. The school also fine tuned automated controls for its heating and air conditioning system and lighting systems.

The agency said Eastman cut its way to distinction for a third consecutive year. The pair of offices are two of more than 500 buildings at the headquarters site, and reduced emissions by a total of 92 tons and saved the manufacturer of chemicals, fibers and plastics almost $10,000.

Eastman also will receive one of the EPA’s highest honors — the Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award — on April 29, when it will become the first chemical company recognized for energy management.

This award, which is separate from the building competition, puts a spotlight on organizations that protect the environment through energy efficiency. The winners are selected from nearly 16,000 partners that participate in the Energy Star program, which the EPA introduced in 1992.

Eastman was singled out for reducing energy use per square foot; allocating $3.5 million for energy efficiency improvements, including $2.5 million to repair steam leaks; and conducting sustainability audits of 27 suppliers.