Richland County received a 2014 Local Government Energy Leadership Award from the South Carolina Energy Office and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.
The award honors local governments that have made outstanding contributions in the areas of energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative fuel usage. The award is based on a local government’s efforts in the reduction of emissions, energy consumption and improved environmental health resulting from the project; the initiative’s effect on public knowledge or understanding; and the continuing evaluation of the project’s effect on the community.
Representatives from the state office and the foundation, based in New Haven, Conn., presented Richland County Council with the award Tuesday night.
“This prestigious award is an affirmation of our sustainability efforts and we will continue to further our commitment to high quality environmental, social, and ethical governance while creating lasting value for our citizens,” said Richland County Council Chair Norman Jackson.
As part of its mission, the Tremaine Foundation recognizes programs that benefit the environment. Richland County is one of three South Carolina recipients to win an energy leadership award. Nicole Chevalier of the Foundation thanked Richland County Council for its support.
Richland County’s commitment to sustainability efforts kicked into high gear in 2010 with the hiring of a dedicated sustainability manager. Since then, the County has leveraged federal grant money and incentives from SCE&G to advance solutions to sustainability through policy, programs and public awareness. Highlights of the County’s efforts include:
Lighting upgrades in the County’s administration building on Hampton Street and judicial center on Main Street
The first county in South Carolina to establish a high performance building standard for new construction
Chiller retrofits (HVAC units) at its detention center
Anna Lange, the County’s Sustainability Manager, is certified as an Accredited Commercial Energy Manager
Light bulb exchange program in which residents turn in florescent bulbs for recycling to receive free energy efficient light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs
In addition, the County added a sustainability page to its website, allowing residents to track progress and get tips on energy saving and sustainability news. Visit www.rcgov.us and click on the “Sustainability” link.
“The South Carolina Energy Office and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation are proud to recognize and acknowledge the leadership role that Richland County has taken to promote energy efficiency and engage County residents and staff in their efficiency and sustainability programs,” said George Kokolis, of the state’s Energy Office.