Members of our community have seen the ENERGY STAR® logo more frequently and have gotten more information about energy-efficiency programs in recent years. That’s because as an ENERGY STAR Partner, Columbia Association (CA) has made a strong commitment to energy management within our operations — and also to conducting robust outreach to residents, businesses, individuals who regularly use our facilities, and the greater Columbia community.
CA is committed to encouraging the use of ENERGY STAR products and greater participation in all ENERGY STAR and associated Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) sponsored programs as a way to cost-effectively improve the energy efficiency of our community, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.
The effective use of energy by an organization or individual is one of the most important things we can do to make our community more sustainable. We can reduce utility bills, improve the comfort of our homes and buildings, lower maintenance costs, and do our part to help reduce the threat of climate change by making wise choices with respect to energy consumption and energy supply.
CA continues to look for opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of its operations through equipment upgrades and optimizing how existing equipment is used. Efforts undertaken by CA to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions include:
- Replacement of metal halide light fixtures with high-efficiency fluorescent fixtures in the arenas at the Athletic Club, Supreme Sports Club, and the Columbia Gym – reducing energy consumption by 50 percent and decreasing annual operating costs by more than $30,000.
- Installation of more than 1,000 energy efficient lamps at the fitness clubs, the Swim Center, and the Owen Brown Tennis Bubble – reducing energy consumption for lighting by 22 to 50 percent.
- Installation of high efficiency condensing boilers and on-demand water heaters throughout the building portfolio, as well as HVAC equipment that meets or exceeds ENERGY STAR standards
- Conducting energy audits at the Art Center, Stonehouse, Columbia Gym, Columbia Athletic Club, and Supreme Sports Club.
- Improving operating practices to ensure equipment is being used efficiently and that energy consuming devices and equipment are turned off when not needed.
- Designing new facilities such as the Hobbits Glen Golf Clubhouse and Long Reach Tennis Club to be as energy efficient as possible.
- Upgrading interior and exterior lighting to LED technology throughout CA’s building portfolio.
- A 60kW combined heat and power (CHP) cogeneration unit at Supreme Sports Club improves overall energy efficiency and reduces operating costs at the 24-hr facility.
- Installation of occupancy sensors where possible
- Leverage grants and rebates from the state and local utility where applicable
- Manage and maintain eight public electric vehicle charging stations to encourage green cars
CA is also working to actively engage and empower Columbia residents on the critical issue of energy management. A broad communications program has been implemented throughout the community to promote ENERGY STAR as a powerful tool to help make our community more sustainable. CA has launched a residential energy efficiency initiative leveraging the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program to make it easier and more cost-effective for Columbia residents to improve the energy efficiency of their home.
Columbia residents can take numerous steps to make Columbia an Energy Smart Community. From turning off unnecessary lights and buying an ENERGY STAR refrigerator for their home to exploring renewable electricity supply, Columbia residents can help CA make a difference.