For the fifth year in a row, North Carolina-based Southern Energy Management (SEM) has been named a National Energy Star Partner of the Year by The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). SEM joins a handful of companies in the U.S. that have received this award five times. The company also achieved distinguished recognition for "Sustained Excellence" based on SEM’s contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through its work as a Home Energy Rater; only two other home energy raters nationwide earned the Sustained Excellence designation this year. SEM’s accomplishments will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2011.
In 2010 alone, SEM worked with more than 150 builders to certify more than 2,000 Energy Star homes; that brings the company’s grand total to more than 7,000 homes in the Carolinas. Home Energy Raters provide the evaluation, testing, and independent verification required for Energy Star qualified new homes. An Energy Star partner since 2004, SEM also offers green building and solar power services for homeowners, builders, businesses, government and military throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.
“This program has been a game-changer in terms of improving energy efficiency in new homes, and we’re proud to be a part of that," said Dan McFarland, SEM’s director of residential services. "Builders are using the program to differentiate their houses and meet the growing sustainability demands of homeowners; this results in more new homes that offer lower utility bills, greater comfort, and a smaller environmental impact.”
The EPA grants Partner of the Year Awards to a variety of organizations for their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy efficient homes. The small pool of recipients comes from more than 17,000 organizations that participate in the Energy Star program.
"Southern Energy Management has earned EPA’s highest ENERGY STAR award - the 2011 Sustained Excellence Award,” said Elizabeth Craig, Acting Director of EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs. “SEM’s long-term leadership and commitment to energy efficiency demonstrates the types of accomplishments that we can all achieve in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting our global environment. We look forward to their continued partnership and leadership.”
Energy Star qualified new homes meet strict guidelines that ensure the house uses substantially less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating; those standards mean that homeowners can expect to save about $200-$400 annually on their utility bills. The program has grown to include the homes of more than a million American families since it first started. Last year, Energy Star programs helped US households save $18 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 34 million cars.
About Southern Energy Management
Southern Energy Management (southern-energy.com) is a North Carolina-based sustainable energy company offering energy efficiency, green building and turn-key solar services for homeowners, builders, companies, government and military clients across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. A certified B Corp, SEM's mission is to have a measurable impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and to build a sustainable triple-bottom-line company. SEM was founded in a living room in Raleigh in 2001, and now employs a team of more than 90 sustainable energy professionals. SEM is consistently recognized as an industry leader both locally and nationally, and is among a small handful of companies in the U.S. to earn the National Energy Star Partner of the Year award five times (in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011). SEM also received the 2010 Green Jobs Award from SJF Institute & Green For All and the 2009 City of Raleigh Market Transformation Award.
About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR (energystar.gov) was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants associated with energy use. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 kinds of products as well as new homes and buildings. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved $18 billion on their utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas equivalent to those of 34 million cars. Products, homes and buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR prevent emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA.