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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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ENERGY STAR Award Shines Light On SEPTA's Sustainability Program

SEPTA is a lean, green transit agency. Offices, facilities, stations and transit operations are increasingly energy efficient - helping control costs, and making SEPTA a better neighbor in the community it serves.

Most of the hard work and smart initiatives making this possible, however, are done in relative obscurity: installing and upgrading a variety of equipment; switching to energy-saving lights; layering windows with near-invisible film to help regulate office temperatures. The work is done quietly, cleanly and efficiently - just like the results it produces.

But that's all changed now.

SEPTA has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR award for efforts to make its headquarters building more energy efficient. Not only is this a rare and prestigious honor (only the top 25-percent of all energy-efficient buildings nationwide receive this distinctive label), it comes with a big plaque and lots of public attention and praise. So, word is out: When it comes to energy efficiency, SEPTA is a transit industry and regional leader.

"ENERGY STAR partners, like SEPTA, are moving Philadelphia forward through innovation and effective energy management," said EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin said at a Dec. 9 press conference at SEPTA headquarters. "SEPTA's efforts will save money on energy costs and have a positive effect for all of us since energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower the impact of climate change."

The EPA gave SEPTA an ENERGY STAR rating of 90 for 1234 Market - putting it far beyond the minimum score of 75 required to receive the award.

"We're extremely proud to receive this honor," Casey said. "A great deal of work has gone into reducing our energy consumption profile and developing innovative energy efficiencies."

Casey noted the challenges involved in getting to this point, starting with the first modernization work on the early 1970s-era building after SEPTA purchased it in 1993. Initial efforts included some major projects, such as replacing old elevators with new, more efficient models. More recently, initiatives undertaken as part of SEPTA's Sustainability Program have made a big impact through smart planning, such as a switch from nighttime to daytime cleaning. This means most lights go off and equipment shuts down when employees leave their offices.

"Creating an environmentally responsible building is just one part of SEPTA's commitment to being a leader in sustainability efforts throughout the region," Casey said. "We believe that by focusing on sustainability as a core business objective, we can help shape a greener future for SEPTA and the communities we serve."

For more information on SEPTA's Sustainability Program, click here.


SEPTA GM Joseph M. Casey (center) receives the ENERGY STAR award from EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. Philadelphia Sustainability Director Katherine Gajewski (right) also spoke at the ceremony.



The ENERGY STAR plaque on display in the lobby of SEPTA headquarters.



Casey, Garvin and Gajewski after the ceremony.



From left: SEPTA's Erik Johanson, Strategy and Sustainability Planner, and Marion Coker, Manager, Strategic Business Planning and Sustainability.



Peter Hansen, Manager of Office Space and Facilities, during a post-ceremony interview.