Kohl's Department Stores announced that its store in Menomonee Falls, Wis. is the company's 500th location to earn the ENERGY STAR label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. Kohl's has a longstanding commitment to energy management and estimates that the company prevented nearly $50 million in electricity costs through energy efficiency programs such as replacing 75 watt incandescent bulbs with 24 watt metal halide bulbs, implementing building automation systems and better controlling variable speed fans on commercial rooftop HVAC units. Over the last four years, accounting for rate variations, these and other proactive energy management initiatives have translated into an improvement in energy efficiency of more than 20 percent, primarily in stores.
Kohl's also announced that beginning in spring 2011, all newly constructed stores will pursue Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR designation, which is awarded for building designs with an estimated energy performance that meets ENERGY STAR criteria. Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR-designated buildings will be eligible for the ENERGY STAR after maintaining superior performance – rating 75 percent or better on a scale of 100 – for one year in operation. Five Kohl's stores in 2010 have already received the Designed to Earn designation.
“Reaching the milestone of our 500th ENERGY STAR store is exciting for our company and our associates. We are building on our commitment to drive energy efficiency companywide as we continue to near our goal of being carbon neutral,” said Ken Bonning, Kohl's executive vice president of store planning and logistics. “Energy management is an ongoing effort, and Designed to Earn designation for newly constructed stores will help us continue to achieve the high environmental standards we have in place for our facilities.”
Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR label rate in the top 25 percent of facilities in the nation for energy efficiency and performance, use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide. Through energy management efforts that include an industry-leading solar program, ongoing lighting upgrades, central energy management systems, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems and increased use of demand response controls, Kohl's continually works to ensure its buildings are operating efficiently. Kohl's also monitors performance of all stores through the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which takes into account building occupants, hours of operation and energy use and normalizes data according to local weather.
A 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year, Kohl's has been a member of ENERGY STAR since 1998. Since the company's West Bend, Wis. location became the company's first store to earn the ENERGY STAR label, Kohl's has continued to submit stores for ENERGY STAR certification. The company operates more ENERGY STAR-labeled stores than any other department store with nearly half of its stores earning the designation.