We’ve written about the U.S. Postal Service’s sustainable endeavors before–namely, its plan to buy 1,600 fuel-efficient vehicles and build the biggest green roof in NYC. As it turns out, sustainability has already paid off big time for the USPS.
Chevron Energy Solutions–one of sixteen companies picked by the DOE to work on federal and state energy efficiency projects–sunk $15 million into a retrofit of the USPS San Francisco Processing Center, installing energy-efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning, a fuel cell, and solar panels. It’s a worthwhile investment for the 1.2 million-square-foot building, which is saving $1.2 million each year on electric bills and cutting heat use by 69%. A larger 400-building, $108 million USPS retrofit in the Pacific region will also pay itself off in approximately 10 years.
Such extravagant investments (read: new HVAC systems, solar panels, fuel cells) aren’t ideal for corporations that don’t know where they’ll be in 10 years, but the USPS plan serves as a model for other government agencies, schools, and universities that aren’t planning on going anywhere. Chevron may be mastermind for the USPS project, but companies like Lockheed Martin, Johnson Controls, Honeywell, and even Cisco will likely engage in long-term building efficiency projects in the near future.