US Postal Service cuts energy consumption by 26%

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It looks like the U.S. Postal Service is delivering our parcels in a greener way…

The agency has reported that it reduced total facility energy consumption by nearly 26 percent, or 8.6 trillion BTUs, since 2003. That’s equivalent to the amount of energy used annually by 90,000 households. The Postal Service says they used robust energy measurement systems and practical steps to cut energy use. Some of these practical steps included actions noted on the Go Green Forever Stamps: Adjust the Thermostat and Turn off Lights Not in Use.

“Postal employees are enthusiastic about reducing energy use at Post Offices, mail processing facilities and in all our buildings,” said Tom Samra, vice president, Facilities. “Energy-saving projects in 2011 reduced costs by $22 million annually or about 1 trillion BTUs.”

The Postal Service operates 33,000 buildings, totaling 280 million square feet. The agency says it uses ‘cutting-edge tools’, including its own Utility Management System and Enterprise Energy Management System to measure energy use and identify ways to cut costs.

“It takes a lot of energy to run America’s largest retail network,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Thomas G. Day. “The Postal Service’s audit systems enable us to monitor and manage our energy use and improve our ability to optimize future cost-saving opportunities.”

The Postal Service’s first green roof opened in 2009 atop the Morgan Mail Processing and Distribution Facility. It is New York City’s largest. The Morgan green roof includes window replacement and new lighting. It also contributed to $1 million in energy cost reductions and a 40 percent reduction in energy use in the first year.

The agency’s second green roof, also in New York, is being built atop Syracuse’s Colvin-Elmwood Post Office at no cost to the Postal Service. This is being done through an innovative sustainability ‘Save the Rain’ partnership with Onondaga County, NY. The 11,300 square-foot green roof will consist of a new membrane, layers of drainage sheet, indigenous vegetation and a wind blanket.

The Postal Service’s two green roofs each have an expected lifespan of up to 50 years. The organization says the facilities will help reduce the amount of contaminants in storm water runoff flowing into municipal water systems. They are also part of the agency’s commitment to create sustainable spaces wherever possible.

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