WASHINGTON — As it continues to make progress to achieve aggressive energy reduction goals, the Postal Service today marked National Energy Awareness Month, with postal officials highlighting savings and encouraging employees, suppliers and mail industry partners to conserve even more energy.

“We’re proud of our energy record,” said Postmaster General John E. Potter. “Between 2003 and 2009, we reduced facility energy consumption by almost 24 percent. However, we have to do even more. We want to exceed our reduction target of 30 percent or better by 2015.”

The Postmaster General encouraged the agency’s nearly 600,000 employees to observe simple tips — little things that can add up and make a difference:
• Properly maintain vehicles, including tire inflation.
• Avoid excessive vehicle idling, aggressive driving, rapid acceleration and braking, which all waste gas.
• Turn lights off when leaving a room.
• Observe proper building temperature — 78 degrees in the summer, 65 degrees in the winter.

With its upgraded heating, cooling and lighting systems, its green roof improvements in New York and other green facility initiatives, the Postal Service continues to reduce energy consumption. Detailed audits to identify energy and water conservation opportunities are ongoing at more than 2,000 of the largest facilities, representing approximately 170 million square feet (about 60 percent of total square footage) and 75 percent of the agency’s total energy consumption. The Postal Service’s national energy management plan includes reduction goals for both facility energy and fleet fuel use.

“Postal Service facility energy use has been reduced by 10.8 trillion Btus since 2005, we have saved $400 million in energy costs since 2007, and we’re working to reduce vehicle petroleum use by 20 percent in 2015 from a 2005 baseline,” said Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability.

Due to population growth, the Postal Service delivers to more addresses each year, while it continues to make mail delivery more efficient.

“The Postal Service tested the first electric mail delivery vehicle in 1899,” added Pulcrano. “And we’re currently testing two-ton electric vehicles in New York, and three-wheeled electric vehicles in Arizona, California and Florida, which cost only two cents per mile to operate.”

Pulcrano noted other USPS energy and conservation programs, including:
• Solar photovoltaic systems: Several large solar photovoltaic systems convert sunlight directly into electricity. Emissions eliminated by using solar power are equal to planting more than 850,000 trees.
• Green roof: The green roof atop the Morgan mail processing facility is the largest in Manhattan. It will last up to 50 years, twice as long as the roof it replaced, and will reduce the amount of storm water runoff into the municipal water system by as much as 75 percent in summer and 40 percent in winter.
• Secure recycle bins: Located in more than 10,000 Post Office lobbies nationwide, recycle bins make it easier for postal customers to make environmentally friendly choices with their mail.
• Cradle to Cradle CertificationCM: The Postal Service is the only mailing and shipping company worldwide to receive Cradle to Cradle CertificationCM based on impact on human and environmental health of materials used to produce Priority Mail, Express Mail, Ready Post packaging supplies and postage stamps and stamped products.

The Postal Service has won more than 75 environmental awards, including 40 White House Closing the Circle, 
10 Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Partner of the Year, Climate Action Champion, Direct Marketing Association Green Echo, and the Postal Technology International Environmental Achievement of the Year, 2009.