Tufts Health Plan’s Watertown office buildings have received the top designation for superior energy performance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the company announced.
“We’re honored to earn the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance. It is a testament to our outstanding staff who work tirelessly to reduce our energy footprint,” said Ronald Reppucci, Vice President of Real Estate and Support Services at Tufts Health Plan. “Saving energy is just one of the ways we show our community we care, as we do what we can to support the environment.”
This is the 12th consecutive year the office at 705 Mount Auburn Street has received the distinction, and the second year in a row the office at 64 Grove Street has received this distinction. Mount Auburn received a score of 91, while Grove received a 93.
“Tufts Health Plan continues to demonstrate true environmental leadership by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are proven to contribute to climate change,” stated Jean Lupinacci, ENERGY STAR Director for Commercial & Industrial Buildings. “Today, 45 percent of U.S. emissions are attributable to commercial and industrial buildings, which is why improving energy efficiency is so critical for our future.”
The 2017 ENERGY STAR certification follows a recent improvement project by the health plan to install more efficient lighting throughout its facilities, reducing its energy footprint and yielding $1.5 million in cost savings. As part of the project the health plan’s real estate team replaced fluorescent light fixtures with light emitting diode lights (LEDs) and installed daylight dimming and occupancy sensors.
“We initiated this project not to save money—we did it because it is the right thing to do,” said Reppucci. “This will not only reduce our annual electricity usage by 534,450 kilowatt hours – the equivalent of powering 48 homes – but it also will reduce our CO2 emissions, on par with taking 71 cars off the road. It is a win-win for both Tufts Health Plan and our neighbors.”
Eversource, Tufts Health Plan’s utility company, will issue rebates through the MassSave incentive program. The LED lights require 50 percent less energy and have a much longer life than traditional light bulbs, saving Tufts Health Plan on their annual utility bill as well as labor costs. The daylight dimming and occupancy sensors will save Tufts Health Plan 15-20 percent each year. There will also be no need to ever again recycle electric ballasts or dispose of hazardous mercury, both costly and potentially harmful to the environment.
About Energy Star
On average, ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants use 35 percent less energy, cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and are less expensive to operate than their peers – all without sacrifices in performance or comfort. To date, tens of thousands of buildings and plants across all fifty states have earned the ENERGY STAR designation. ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide, based on weather-normalized source energy use that takes into account occupancy, hours of operation, and other key metrics. ENERGY STAR is the only energy efficiency certification in the United States that is based on actual, verified energy performance. For more information about ENERGY STAR for Buildings and Plants, visit www.energystar.gov/buildings.
About Tufts Health Plan
Tufts Health Plan is nationally recognized for its commitment to providing innovative, high-quality health care coverage. Staying true to our mission of improving the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve, we touch the lives of more than 1.1 million members in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire through employer-sponsored plans; Medicare; Medicaid and Marketplace plans, offering health insurance coverage across the life span regardless of age or circumstance.