Wal-Mart to perform energy audits at state capitols

The retail giant signed a public-private partnership with the National Governors’ Assn. to provide energy audits of government buildings in state capitol complexes nationwide.


Retail giant Wal-Mart signed an agreement with the National Governors’ Assn . (NGA) to provide energy audits of government buildings in state capitol complexes nationwide.

According to the “Greening State Capitols” public-private partnership, Wal-Mart will send engineering experts to perform energy audits for as many as 20 state capitols in 2008 and 2009.

"State and local governments spend more than $11 billion on energy every year and those costs are growing rapidly,” said Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, chairman of the NGA. “States need to lead by example and the NGA is excited to partner with Wal-Mart and use its expertise to improve energy efficiency and save money at state capitol buildings across the nation.”

"Greening State Capitols” will include a two-day auditing process. During the two days, Wal-Mart will send a team of engineers to capitol facilities to analyze lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, programmable technologies, and building structures. After completing the audit, the engineers will create a written report—turnaround time in 3 or 4 weeks—that details the recommended upgrades, their costs, and projected energy savings and impact on the environment.

Wal-Mart will only recommend technologies that give the state a return on investment within 5 years, unless a state specifically asks for a different time frame. At the state’s request, Wal-Mart will use its procurement skills to attract bids from interested companies to facilitate installation of the recommended technologies.

States that take part in the program will hire a team of four to five experts in addition to Wal-Mart’s engineers. The state’s team will help with the audit and implement the recommendations.

"Wal-Mart is committed to sharing what we learn about reducing energy use and increasing building efficiencies,” said Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs and government relations for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. “By working with the NGA in a collaborative manner we can help accelerate the deployment of new technologies and best practices while saving states money and protecting the environment.”

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