(Raleigh, NC – November 3, 2010) An energy efficiency program launched by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in 2009 is helping North Carolina participants reduce energy use more than 45 percent and save $15 million in energy costs in five years. EDF Climate Corps Public Sector uncovered ways to make lighting, computer equipment, and heating and cooling systems more energy efficient in North Carolina universities, Raleigh public buildings and a Raleigh church.
The program matched MBA students, specially trained by EDF in energy analysis, with the City of Raleigh Fire Department, Johnson C. Smith University, NC Central University, St. Paul AME Church and Elizabeth City State University. EDF's focus on minority serving institutions is part of a broad commitment to increasing diversity in environmental leadership.
The fellows showed partners how to save 54 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually – enough to power 5,000 homes – and cut 30,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to taking more than 5,000 SUVs off the road.
"Saving energy means saving money, and that's a cornerstone of a sustainable business plan for a company or a campus," said Michael Regan, EDF Energy and Air Policy Manager and former EPA manager. "The public sector uses a tremendous amount of energy, and it can take advantage of smart energy investments just like major corporations."
EDF will expand the fellowship program to universities, public buildings and houses of worship in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Texas in 2011 and other states in 2012.
Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. See www.edfclimatecorps.org/public. Twitter.com/EnvDefenseFund and facebook.com/EnvDefenseFund.