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ICBA Launches EPA ENERGY STAR Challenge to Enable Community Banks to Go Green

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 12, 2007)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) unveiled a joint initiative with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aimed at helping community banks reduce energy consumption, a move that could reduce utility costs by an average of $3,500 per year per bank branch. ICBA is the only national banking trade association to team up with EPA to reduce energy consumption.

"ICBA is delighted this initiative with the EPA will help community banks promote energy efficiency and reduce costs while also contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions," said Karen Tyson, ICBA senior vice president and director of communications. "Community banks have always been out in front working to make their communities good places to live and work. The ENERGY STAR® Challenge gives community banks tools to set an example as good corporate citizens by reducing energy consumption. Saving energy is good for the bottom line and good for business."

EPA's ENERGY STAR Program is a nationwide initiative that offers data, tools, and strategies to help community banks implement a variety of cost-effective retrofit and new construction strategies for energy efficient lighting, climate controls, equipment, and building design as well as improved energy practices and technologies.

"The ENERGY STAR® Challenge is a call to action," said Kathleen Hogan, EPA director, Climate Protection Partnerships Division. "By accepting the ENERGY STAR® Challenge, ICBA member community banks could cut their utility costs with just a 10 percent reduction in energy consumption." Among other strategies, EPA offers a measurement tool called Portfolio Manager that creates a baseline so that community bank branches can calculate energy usage and utility savings over time. Portfolio Manager also tracks greenhouse gas emissions.

The ICBA-EPA ENERGY STAR initiative also will list community banks that provide financing for energy efficiency projects in online directory of service providers.

To learn more, visit www.icba.org/goto/energystar.

About EPA's ENERGY STAR Program
ENERGY STAR was introduced by 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 products, commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and new homes that meet strict energy efficiency specifications set by the U.S. government. In 2006 alone, American consumers and businesses, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved about $14 billion on their energy bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 25 million vehicles.