‘Larger-than-Life’ Ambassador Bruce Oreck to Receive Energy Efficiency Award

Release Date: Friday, June 8, 2012

DIRECTV, The Kroger Co., Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development, Advantix Systems, Eletrobras Also Winners of Alliance’s 20th Annual Awards

Former bodybuilding champion and current Ambassador to Finland Bruce J. Oreck has been selected by the Alliance to Save Energy to receive the Charles H. Percy Award for Public Service at the Alliance’s annual Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency awards dinner on Oct. 3, 2012.

Characterized as “larger-than-life” by The Wall Street Journal, Oreck will be honored at the black-tie gala alongside pioneering organizations and businesses that have shown steadfast leadership and commitment in advancing energy efficiency.

Out of a strong field of nearly 100 nominees, Oreck joins the following impressive group of energy efficiency stars to be recognized at the gala for their creative innovations and achievements:

  • The Kroger Co. receives the Galaxy Star of Energy Efficiency recognizing outstanding achievements by an entity with annual revenue of more than $150 million;

  • Advantix Systems earns the Super Nova Star of Energy Efficiency, which recognizes outstanding achievements by an entity earning less than $150 million in annual revenue;
  • The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD) wins the Andromeda Star of Energy Efficiency for outstanding achievements by an entity earning less than $10 million in annual revenue;
  • Eletrobras picks up the International Star (I-Star) Award for Energy Efficiency, which honors a special overseas project or activities led by an entity based outside the United States/U.S. territories; and

  • DIRECTV collects the Innovative Star of Energy Efficiency Award, honoring an emerging technology or service with the potential to transform a sector of the energy efficiency market.

“We are truly excited by this year’s elite crop of energy efficiency leaders,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “This roster really illuminates that energy efficiency plays a major role across all industries and organizations of any size, and we take great pride in being able to honor the best-of-the-best in energy efficiency.”

Oreck Electrifies Energy Field

Oreck is known to constantly engage others in energy efficiency conversations, while he tirelessly manages his staggering travel and speaking commitments, to push forward his vision for an efficient future.

As chair of the League of Green Embassies, in 2011 Oreck joined forces with the Alliance to spearhead an extreme energy efficiency makeover of the U.S. ambassador to Belgium’s residence in Brussels. Compared to the same timeframe a year earlier, the basement-to-attic energy efficiency upgrades in Ambassador Howard Gutman’s residence led to residential energy savings ranging from 41.6% in July to 24.4% in May. The successful 2011 partnership inspired Oreck to replicate the Brussels makeover across Europe. He secured $500,000 from the U.S. Department of State to defray some of the costs of a 10-city European energy efficiency “sweep.”

“I’m thrilled and humbled by the Percy Award and accept it on behalf of all those who worked so hard to effect positive change, and I will hold the award in their honor,” said Oreck. “I want to pay tribute to the Alliance to Save Energy, our partner in the largest public-private partnership ever undertaken by the U.S. government in this space. Get some rest because we’re about to do this again, even bigger.”

“The ambassador is one of the most vital advocates and champions for energy efficiency,” said Callahan. “His herculean role pushing embassies across Europe to save energy has motivated and inspired us all at the Alliance and in the energy field.”

Committed to Advancing Efficiency

Other honorees emphasized their appreciation for the Alliance’s recognition and stressed the collaborative commitment to energy efficiency that allowed their work to succeed.

“We are honored and grateful to receive national recognition for the work of the COAD network,” said Executive Director of the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development Ronald Rees about his organization receiving the Andromeda Star of Energy Efficiency award. “Our success is due to the work of hundreds of people, ranging from state officials to crew workers throughout the 30-county region. We appreciate the opportunity we have had to improve the lives of thousands of families in Appalachian Ohio.”

After receiving word that Advantix Systems won the Super Nova Star of Energy Efficiency award, President Hannah Choi Granade said, “As a company committed to energy efficiency, we are thrilled to be recognized for delivering an industry-leading solution to a problem that every commercial and industrial business faces – the high costs of humidity.”

Granade added, “Since launching Advantix Systems in the U.S. in 2010 after establishing ourselves globally with a strong base of installations in Europe, India and Southeast Asia, we have grown tremendously by delivering a system that is cost effective, improves operational efficiencies and reduces energy consumption. We are honored to be selected by the Alliance to Save Energy.”

The 2012 Stars of Energy Efficiency

The Kroger Co. – Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Kroger Co. is the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer with fiscal 2011 sales of $90.4 billion, employing more than 338,000 associates who serve customers in 2,439 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states.

Since 2000, Kroger has reduced its average electricity usage in all stores by over 30% by deploying energy efficiency equipment, improving store and fixture design, undertaking e-commissioning and improved maintenance practices and educating store associates about energy savings. For example, having successfully installed over 400,000 LED lighting sticks in glass door freezers in 2009 and 2010, Kroger invested several million dollars in additional LED fixtures in 2011 to replace older lighting in walk-in coolers and freezers and on shelves displaying fresh meat. Completing nearly 1,100 stores in 2011, Kroger plans to complete installation in all 2,439 stores by the end of 2012. 

Kroger aims to deploy more energy efficiency projects and programs well into the foreseeable future, using creativity and ingenuity to find new ways to save energy in the grocery business.  

Advantix Systems – Advantix Systems is a leading manufacturer of air conditioning and dehumidification systems that delivers energy savings of 30 to 50% in core products and up to 80% when integrated with renewable energy. A pioneer in harnessing a salt water-based liquid desiccant, Advantix’s patented technology delivers cooling with powerful, precise humidity control, substantial energy savings and cleaner air – free of bacteria and mold – in commercial and industrial settings. Advantix offers compelling economics, better performance and an improved environmental footprint.Advantix understands that merely providing a “green” product is not sufficient for meeting market demands today.  For many Advantix customers, the value of this technology comes in the form of sheer economics: low upfront costs, reduced energy consumption and lower operating and maintenance costs. Advantix was recognized at the annual International Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Exposition as the winner of AHR’s Most Innovative Cooling Product for 2011, designating the technology as the HVAC innovation with the most substantial application, user value and market impact.

The Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD) is a private, nonprofit community-based organization serving rural, mostly Appalachian, counties in eastern and southern Ohio. It is comprised of 17 Community Action Agencies that serve a 30-county area.

Murray City, a village of 472 people, had every home in the community weatherized by COAD. Murray City was chosen by COAD to participate in a pilot program designed to help local residents receive weatherization updates to their homes at no cost.

The project was carried out by COAD, working with American Electric Power, Columbia Gas, Governor Ted Strickland’s office and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Part of the program involved collaborating with utility companies to help residents replace older appliances with energy-efficient ones and complete lighting retrofits.

Electrobas – As the largest company in the Brazilian energy sector, Eletrobras is the leader in energy efficiency in South America. Eletrobras is committed to promoting energy efficiency in Brazil and increasing environmental and social benefits.

Eletrobras has operated the National Electricity Conservation Program (Procel) since 1985.  It is a federal government program, coordinated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, which strives for the efficient use of electric energy by promoting actions in several sectors of the country, including buildings, appliances, industry, training and others. The range of Procel initiatives designate an efficient final use of energy in actions and programs that spread knowledge and support the promotion of education.  Eletrobras/Procel is the driving force for energy efficiency in Brazil.

DIRECTV – With more than 16,000 employees, DIRECTV delivers industry-leading service and value. As an all-digital platform, it was the first to deliver an interactive on-screen program guide and Pay Per View ordering by remote control, and its innovations have led to eight Emmy® Awards and hundreds of filings for U.S. patents, as it has introduced must-have technologies to the viewing experience.

Both as an ENERGY STAR partner and a technology innovator, DIRECTV has stepped up to the challenge of saving energy. DIRECTV stands alone among TV providers recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), having received ENERGY STAR awards in 2010, 2011 and 2012 for Excellence in Energy Efficient Product Design. Fully 99.9% of the more than 33 million DIRECTV set-top boxes deployed in 2009-2011 comply with Version 2.0 or 3.0 ENERGY STAR guidelines. The receivers deployed in 2011 alone save more than 900 million kWh annually, or the electricity use of more than 70,000 homes. DIRECTV has also achieved a dramatic reduction in receiver energy use from its first generation products:

  • Standard Definition boxes’ Typical Energy Consumption (TEC) has been reduced by 40%,
  • High Definition boxes' TEC by 60%,
  • and HD Digital Video Recorders’ TEC by 30%.

Read more about the award winners.

Award Ceremony

The Stars of Energy Efficiency awards will be presented October 3 before a crowd of more than 500 industry leaders, members of Congress, high-level government officials and federal agency staff at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. 

Learn more about the award ceremony and dinner.

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