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Virginia Department of Corrections — Public Safety First

News: Press Release

For Immediate Release: June 20, 2013 - Contact Lisa E. Kinney, (804) 674-3275

Secretary Decker Receives Prestigious Energy Leadership Award for VADOC's Green Works

RICHMOND On Wednesday, June 12, Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker was honored by the national Energy Efficiency Forum with an Energy Leadership Award in an evening reception at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The annual Energy Leadership awards are presented in six categories: Congressional, Governorís, Mayorís, Public Service, and Douglas Decker Lifetime Achievement. (Not every award is presented each year.) Secretary Decker was honored with the Public Service Award for the energy efficient operations at the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Prior recipients of Energy Leadership awards have included Senator John Glenn; Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; Caspar Weinberger; Robert M. Simon, Staff Director, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Senate; Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.; and David Miller, Mayor of Toronto.

The Energy Leadership awards were established in 1991 to recognize public officials who have provided exemplary leadership in instituting and advancing energy efficiency in the United States and abroad. Secretary Decker stated that she was accepting the award "on behalf of the fabulous team at VADOC that made this happen in conjunction with Johnson Controls."

The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) is a forceful advocate advancing the cause of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. The VADOC has made a measurable commitment to energy, water, and operational efficiency through a multi-phased contract with Johnson Controls. Improvements to 20 of the Departmentís facilities are expected to reduce the agencyís electric demand by 276 kWH, water use by 3.6 billion gallons, propane use by 2.9 million gallons, natural gas by 5.4 million therms, and coal and oil by 928,000 and 1.7 million MMBTUs, respectively, over 15 years.

Water conservation measures at each of the 20 facilities have already reduced the Departmentís water usage by more than 90 million gallons a year. From conventional low-volume fixtures and valves to innovative electronic controls on toilets and showers, water usage is significantly reduced and can now be closely monitored and accurately documented.

The Department is installing 300 solar thermal panels at St. Brides Correctional Center, which will produce 45% of the facilityís hot water. Instead of using propane to heat the water, the panels help heat water by collecting energy from the sun.

Additionally, the VADOC and Johnson Controls designed and built a Green Learning Lab where incarcerated offenders are being trained for green energy-related careers based on employment market demand and public safety requirements. This public-private partnership is consistent with the Governorís focus on reentry preparation and demonstrates Johnson Controls commitment to being a community partner.

Under the leadership of Secretary Decker and Director Harold Clarke, these and other green works projects will help the VADOC avoid 165,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions over 15 years.

More information about the VADOC can be found at