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Highmark West Virginia earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR® certification for superior energy efficiency

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

Downtown Parkersburg office to participate in Earth Hour on Saturday, March 19 at 8:30 p.m.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (March 18, 2016) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia’s Parkersburg office has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification, signifying that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.

"Highmark West Virginia is pleased to accept EPA's ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts," said Highmark West Virginia President Fred Earley. "Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs."

To earn the ENERGY STAR, Highmark West Virginia improved its energy performance by making cost-effective alterations to its building, including the replacement of older lighting technology with LED fixtures and bulbs; implementation of a more efficient heating and air conditioning schedule; installation of motion detection lighting; and the completion of a detailed energy audit to uncover and apply new methods of energy conservation. In addition to these actions, Highmark West Virginia also educates employees on the importance of energy conservation so they can assist in upholding the company’s environmental commitment.

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

"Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment," said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR commercial and industrial branch. "From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA's ENERGY STAR certification."

EPA's ENERGY STAR energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, data centers, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship and warehouses.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.

For more information about ENERGY STAR certification for commercial buildings, visit www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves approximately 290,000 customers through the company’s health care benefits business and also serves tens of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Highmark West Virginia employs more than 750 people, with offices in Parkersburg, Charleston and Wheeling. Highmark West Virginia is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:
Kristy Cramlet
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia
304-424-9888
kristy.cramlet@highmarkhealth.org