By NRG Editorial Voices
Submitted by NRG Energy
NRG celebrated the organizations shaping the future of energy on November 17.
Through the Excellence in Energy Awards, we continue to showcase the range of effective, elegant, and ambitious solutions making a positive impact in the categories of Community Outreach, Energy Efficiency, and Sustainability for the third straight year.
The 2022 Excellence in Energy Award winners
Selected from a field of more than 100 NRG Business customer entries, our winners have implemented innovative strategies that optimize energy operations and give back to their communities.
Winners in the community outreach category led projects and supported organizations to help their communities thrive.
Congratulations to our four winners in the Community Outreach category:
Alief Independent School District earned an award for their environmental improvements on a 20-acre site, creating an ecosystem with a unique, healthy, and engaging learning environment. This project promotes biodiversity and includes an improved community storm water retention system.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden was awarded for its support of underserved Cincinnati neighborhoods including upgrading community centers and gardens, sports fields, and planting hundreds of trees and shrubs.
City of Houston received its award for Resilient Houston, a framework for collective action benefitting diverse neighborhoods and watersheds. The improvements fortify against hurricanes, extreme heat, flooding, and protect air quality,
Ahresty Wilmington Corporation’s winning entry included supporting Habitat for Humanity, and the Adopt-A-Highway program, volunteering, making donations, and hosting/participating in food drives, and other philanthropic efforts.
Winners in the Energy Efficiency category implement solutions that control energy demand, creating opportunities for others to attain dependable energy from a resilient grid.
Congratulations to our four winners in the Energy Efficiency category:
Avient Colorants USA, LLC was awarded for upgrading all plant lighting to LED, adding occupancy sensors in areas not in use around the clock, eliminating all machine "idle" times to zero, adding smart thermostats to all HVAC units, and participating in a demand response program.
Bucher Emhart replaced all light fixtures with LED lights saving 344,000 kWh per year and installed solar panels that produce 40 percent of their overall energy demand.
CertainTeed Saint-Gobain installed Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) technology that controls energy-efficient grinding operations and added more than 1,000 LED light fixtures.
Northampton Community College reduced their CO2 energy emissions by 20.6 percent, from a 2008 baseline — with a reduction target of 30 percent set for 2028.
Winners in the Sustainability category are organizations that have adopted forward-thinking solutions shaping the future of energy.
Congratulations to our five winners in the Sustainability category:
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden earned an award for substantial water reduction compared to their 2006 baseline, meeting 20 percent of annual electricity demand with solar, recycling 510,000 gallons of collected stormwater, and expanding solar with a battery-supported microgrid.
Mitsubishi Chemical Group won in the category for substantial reductions in landfill waste, water usage, and CO2 emissions, participating in a demand response program, installing 100 percent LED lighting at five sites, and a 500,000-sheet reduction in paper usage per year.
Nucor Steel Texas was recognized for its award-winning entry that included recycling six million passenger tire equivalents (PTEs) for reclaimed steel and energy production in 2021. Tires provide their furnace over 260,000 MMBtu, or 76 GWh annually, displacing grid electricity. Future projections target 12 million PTEs annually. Other projects include recycling 100 percent of processing water and a million tons of scrap steel.
Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church was awarded for supplying 70 percent of its annual demand with onsite solar and converting to LED lighting. Additionally, the church contracted to purchase and sell renewable electricity. These and other solutions give them a net-zero carbon footprint.
Iron Mountain received its award for signing a unique agreement that aligns sustainable energy supply in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland (PJM) directly with their local demand. Currently implemented with three data centers, they are now expanding to more than 100 facilities, matching hourly demand with PJM supply.
Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you to all who submitted entries. We look forward to sharing your achievements next year.
Beyond the awards
Celebrating the success of our customers is certainly an honor, but the real heart of this awards ceremony is in sharing their solutions.
In his closing statement, Robert Gaudette, Executive Vice President of NRG Business summed it up, “Our customers continue to inspire us at NRG, and we want to honor them for their innovation and strategic solutions that create positive change. The Excellence in Energy Awards recognize their passion to take charge of their energy future to help benefit their operations and communities."
At NRG, we’re bringing the power of energy to people and organizations by putting customers at the center of everything we do. We generate electricity and provide energy solutions and natural gas to millions of customers through our diverse portfolio of retail brands. A Fortune 500 company, operating in the United States and Canada, NRG delivers innovative solutions while advocating for competitive energy markets and customer choice, working towards a sustainable energy future.
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