Petaluma Health Center has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious “Energy Star” award, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. The Health Center’s building performs in the top 20 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency.

“We are honored to receive the EPA’s “Energy Star” award in recognition of our energy saving efforts,” said Kathie Powell, Petaluma Health Center’s CEO. “As we are incorporating sustainability in our organization, this is one of the first awards we have received recognizing our “green” efforts.  We are committed to improving the health of our patients, our community and our planet, while also lowering our energy costs.”

Commercial buildings that earn the “Energy Star” award use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Petaluma Health Center improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically and making cost-effective improvements to its buildings.

To earn the “Energy Star” award, Petaluma Health Center constructed a high-performance building with state-of-the-art energy-management software in 2011.  Daryl Johnson, who served as both the construction and building operations manager, implemented HVAC and lighting software programs that allow the health center to reduce its energy consumption by more than 45 percent, and emit 55 percent less carbon emissions than the average health center. Farris Sukkar, a 4th year university student whose studies focus on energy efficiency and sustainability, manages the Heath Center’s Energy Star portfolio.  Sukkar is helping the Health Center develop a strong sustainability program.  The energy management and recycling programs are in place, and Sukkar is now helping develop additional programs that include alternative transportation, biodegradable kitchenware, environmentally friendly purchasing, and pollution prevention.  All of these programs support operations and patient satisfaction while providing a safe and healthy work environment.

EPA’s “Energy Star” energy performance scale helps organizations like Petaluma Health Center to assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale may be eligible for the “Energy Star.” Petaluma Health Center surpassed that score with an 80 and operates more efficiently than 80 percent of other health care facilities.

“Energy Star” was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.

Petaluma Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) providing primary medical care, chronic disease care, nutrition services, dental care, integrative medicine, mental health services, wellness programs and more to residents of Petaluma, Penngrove, Cotati, Rohnert Park and the surrounding areas.  PHC is located at 1179 North McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, CA 94954.