Governor's conference awards Kentucky companies for energy leadership | Business
From Leonard K. Peters, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet
FRANKFORT, KY - The United States Playing Card Co., the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corp. and the Southern Tier Housing Corp. were presented Energy Leadership Awards during the Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment at the Hyatt Regency in Louisville on Tuesday.
Energy Leadership Awards recognize leaders in the Kentucky energy field who have made significant contributions by promoting and utilizing energy efficiency and alternative energy sources as a way to achieve their sustainability goals.
“The innovative and visionary leaders honored today have played an integral role in shaping Kentucky’s energy future. Through their energy initiatives, they have demonstrated commitment to protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, and setting examples of environmental stewardship for generations to come,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters.
United States Playing Card Co.
The United States Playing Card Co. (USPC) produces and distributes playing card and other games.
Sustainability efforts at USPC have been steadily gaining momentum since 2010, when the facility enrolled in the Save Energy Now Program, with the goal of achieving cost savings through energy efficiency and waste minimization. Save Energy Now is a partnership program offered by the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) and the Department for Energy Development and Independence.
With the development of an Energy Management Program and an energy team, USPC has been successful in implementing an equipment and lighting shutdown program. By conducting weekend audits to identify shut-down opportunities and communicating those results to department managers, USPC employees are now actively engaged in conserving energy.
Through several cost savings initiatives, including tariff rate changes, facility lighting upgrades, compressed air system optimization, and re-using paper roll cores, USPC’s sustainability efforts have resulted in annual energy savings of 5,400 MMBtu (one million British thermal units) and cost savings of over $290,000.
USPC is also actively engaged in KPPC’s Kentucky Energy Alliance (KEA). The Erlanger facility hosted a KEA meeting in 2011and has offered mentoring support to other Kentucky businesses to achieve their energy savings goals.
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corp. and Southern Tier Housing Corp. Founded in 1968, the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) is a tax-exempt economic and community development company whose mission it is to create better living opportunities for residents in 22 counties of Eastern and Southern Kentucky. KHIC uses a developmental venture capital approach to invest loan and equity capital in startup, emerging and expanding small businesses to create jobs.
About 10 years ago, KHIC began its work in affordable housing. One KHIC demonstration project is the Near Zero Energy Home development in Whitley County that includes five homes. This project is coordinated and managed by Kentucky Highlands and its nonprofit, affordable housing development partner, Southern Tier Housing Corp.
These energy-efficient homes have integrated the best building materials, technology and methods recommended by researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Kentucky to achieve sustainability. They incorporate super-insulation, triple-glazed windows, efficient appliances, and a ventilation system that recovers energy as it circulates air.
Plumbing fixtures in these homes use 40 percent less water than standard fixtures, and these homes are expected to generate power nearly equal to the amount they use.
“The bottom line is that the KHIC and Southern Tier are helping five families not only have a mortgage payment about equal their previous rent, but they also have no, or nearly no, power bill for the long term,” said Secretary Peters. “In addition, the KHIC will continue to share their knowledge and experience with Kentucky students, homeowners and other builders. Their history of energy-related business development shows further commitment to advancing Kentucky’s energy independence goals.”
KHIC has been successful in other areas related to energy, for example:
• KHIC conducted three Energy Business Boot Camps in which nearly 20 entrepreneurs were selected to participate in an intensive six-month program of classroom training, personalized coaching and networking that resulted in eight new businesses and the creation of 23 jobs; and
• KHIC and Southern Tier Housing Corp. have overseen the construction of more than 20 homes for low- and moderate-income families. Each home meets or exceeds ENERGY STAR Home Energy Rating System values.
The United States Playing Card Co. was nominated for the award by the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, and the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corp. and the Southern Tier Housing Corp. were nominated by Dr. Bruce Ayers, president of the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Cumberland, KY.