Tribune staff reports

The Jay C Plus store on Seymour’s east side has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification.

The certification signifies a building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA, according to a news release from the Seymour-based company.

“Jay C is pleased to accept EPA’s Energy Star certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said John Kelley, director of facility engineering and real estate for Jay C Food Stores. “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s Energy Star certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The Seymour Jay C store improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire store and by making cost-effective improvements to the building.

To earn the Energy Star, Jay C has retrofitted standard lighting with fluorescent lights, installed efficient case fan motors within the cases, installed a building and refrigeration controller system and installed contractors that allow lights to go off at night. They have also installed LED lighting within the dairy and frozen glass door cases and motion sensors on frozen glass door cases that allow the lights to shut off when customers are not in front of them.

Kelley said the Jay C store also put in variable speed drives on condensers to allow fans to only run at the speed that is needed.

According to Kelley, EPA’s Energy Star energy performance scale helps organizations 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 Energy Star certification. Commercial buildings that can earn the Energy Star include offices, bank branches, data centers, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship and warehouses.

Energy Star was introduced by the EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past 20 years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from Energy Star.

Jay C Food Stores is a division of Kroger, which employs more than 375,000 people and serves customers in 2,638 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names.