Legrand, North America, recently hosted Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) along with state energy efficiency advocates at its U.S. headquarters in West Hartford, Conn. The officials were there to recognize Legrand as a manufacturer that’s leading the charge to strengthen energy efficiency standards and rally support for a pending federal energy bill.
The visit was prompted after Sen. Blumenthal spoke to U.S. Congress about “The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act” (S.1392), which is currently under debate in the U.S. Senate. If enacted, the bill will provide new federal funding for workforce training; initiate a program to recognize and support manufacturers who optimize their supply chains; and offer support for updating energy codes for federal buildings and new construction.
Legrand worked closely with Blumenthal on an amendment to the bill that would require that the U.S. Department of Energy study the non-monetary benefits of energy saving products and building energy code compliance.
“We were honored to host Sen. Blumenthal at Legrand to see first-hand energy efficient innovation taking place here and across all of the Legrand product lines,” says John Selldorff, president and CEO of Legrand, North America. “Legrand and Sen. Blumenthal are wholly united on educating the building community and consumers on the tremendous importance of reducing energy consumption and realizing the cost savings that come with that effort. We are confident the studies proposed in the amendment will bring forth abundant and persuasive evidence of the benefits that we as a company have already earned through our own energy-reduction program and policies.”
During the Senator’s visit , he toured the company’s 258,000-square-foot West Hartford manufacturing facility. The site is one of 14 Legrand facilities nationwide that have focused on reducing energy intensity as part of the Department of Energy’s Better Building, Better Plants Program (BBBP). Overall, the company has reached a 29 percent energy intensity reduction since 2010. The West Hartford facility has been designated a BBBP “Challenge” site as Legrand committed to reduce energy intensity at this location by 10 percent in just two years. Eighteen months into the Challenge the site has achieved an 8.3 percent reduction. Blumenthal also visited the company’s Experience Center, an interactive, hands-on demonstration room showcasing the company’s energy saving innovations and underscoring the benefits of energy efficiency to consumers and businesses, where he rallied support for the pending legislation.
“Legrand is a fantastic example of how manufacturers and business can play a significant role in improving the environment by reducing its own impact and prompting nationwide change,” Blumenthal says. “If we are concerned at all of climate disruption—of the erosion of our shores, rising sea levels and more frequent and catastrophic weather—we must demand action on energy efficiency. This bipartisan bill is a win-win for our economy and our environment—saving consumers $13.7 billion per year, supporting 164,000 jobs by 2030, resulting in cumulative energy savings equal to the combined energy consumption of the entire states of Michigan and California over the next 15 years.”
The Senator was joined by William E. Dornbos, the Connecticut director of Environment Northeast, a nonprofit organization focused on efforts to combat global warming and promoting clean energy and clean air solutions in the region.
“Energy waste is an enormous problem in the United States,” Dornbos adds. “We lose an astonishing 61 percent of the energy we produce through inefficiencies in our power plants, buildings, vehicles and electronics. The good news is that this energy waste presents a major economic opportunity. By pursuing cost-effective energy efficiency measures—like the Act’s building energy code provisions—we can reduce energy waste and reap substantial benefits, such as lower energy bills, new jobs and economic growth, and cleaner air and less climate pollution.”