May 23, 2012
Employee-inspired efficiencies spark a new crop of King County ‘Energy Heroes’
6 staff recognized for working to improve energy efficiencies and helping King County cut its carbon emissions
King County Executive Dow Constantine today distinguished six employees as Energy Heroes for going the extra mile to improve energy efficiency and cost effectiveness in County operations.
“These employees embody the spirit of continuous improvement and have taken initiative to identify opportunities for energy savings and to move projects forward,” Executive Constantine said.
King County’s Energy Hero awards came about in 2010, when Executive Constantine unveiled an updated Energy Plan that expanded County efforts to reduce energy use, stimulate development of green technologies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save taxpayer dollars.
“Empowering employees to identify opportunities for efficiencies and savings builds on our broader Energy Plan goals,” Executive Constantine said.
King County’s 2012 Energy Heroes are:
- Kamma Kure, Facilities Management Division
- John Komorita, Wastewater Treatment Division
- Bill Lockinger, Wastewater Treatment Division
- Wendy Chin, Transit Division
- Cheryl Binetti, Department of Transportation
- Megan Smith, Executive’s Office
Kamma Kure, Facilities Management Division
Kure is a Project Program Manager in FMD who has worked behind the scenes to help plan consolidation of building space and execute the work of moving employees’ offices. By eliminating small pockets of vacant space and reconfiguring many offices more efficiently with little loss in functionality, King County is well on its way to reducing its carbon footprint and its operating costs by $1.5 million annually. Kure also coordinated with County Surplus and the Solid Waste Division to reuse or recycle furniture, office supplies and materials that accumulated from these consolidations.
John Komorita, Wastewater Treatment Division
As Brightwater Treatment Plant Project Engineer, Komorita was responsible for orchestrating two changes to the Brightwater design to install new aeration blower technology and implement “sequential aeration” for the membrane bioreactor treatment process. Komorita’s energy-saving idea resulted in a check for $265,000 in energy rebates from the Snohomish County PUD through the end of 2011. It will also save an estimated 4.5 million kilowatt hours per year, or roughly the annual electrical energy use of 450 homes in the Pacific Northwest.
Bill Lockinger, Wastewater Treatment Division
Lockinger is Maintenance Supervisor at the West Point Treatment Plant. He worked with Seattle City Light to upgrade West Point’s lighting controls, resulting in energy savings estimated in excess of 350,000 kilowatt hours a year. A follow up project replaced most of the lights with high efficiency light bulbs. This work will potentially save the County in excess of $100,000. Lockinger encourages staff to pursue energy savings, such as replacing blowers with more efficient technology that is expected to have enormous power consumption savings for the County. He also encouraged installation of a power monitoring system to examine power quality and quantity, and successfully indentify and pinpoint power abnormalities within and outside of West Point.
Wendy Chin, Transit Division
Chin is a Project/Program Manager in the Power and Facilities Section of the Transit Division in DOT. She has been a driving force in Transit to develop an over-arching plan to address energy conservation in an organized and meaningful way. Chin contracts with consultants for building energy audits, developing and starting a sub-metering plan, identifying and planning funding for capital energy related projects, and working with staff to develop smaller operational energy improvements. She has also put in place tracking charts to document energy related projects, savings and incentive information. To date, these incentives and savings approach the $1 million mark with around 3.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity saved.
Cheryl Binetti, Department of Transportation (DOT)
As the project manager for the DOT Director's Office assigned to work on Energy and related climate and conservation projects, Binetti helps guide the department's approach to energy issues and is the catalyst for keeping DOT Divisions and sections focused on continuing implementation and meeting reporting requirements.
Megan Smith, Executive’s Office
As Environmental Policy Advisor for the Executive’s Office, Smith was recognized for playing a key role in helping to shape County direction on energy, climate, green building and overall sustainability issues. Smith provides guidance in improving energy efficiencies in County operations and advancing the use and production of renewable and greenhouse gas-neutral energy. Smith works with County departments to achieve the targets laid out in the Energy Plan and meet the County’s Strategic Plan Environmental Sustainability Goal.