First Net-Zero Energy Bank in the U.S. Opens in Florida (With Video)

Today, TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, opened the first net-zero energy bank location in the United States in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The new TD Bank store is the latest accomplishment in a year-long string of achievements by the bank as it pursues its goal to be as green as its TD logo.

“At TD Bank, we want to be a responsible community partner and that includes a commitment to being an environmental leader,” said Kevin Gillen, Florida Regional President, TD Bank. “In one year, we have achieved carbon-neutrality throughout our entire footprint and have opened more than 20 environmentally-friendly stores and offices. We are thrilled to open the first net-zero energy commercial bank location in the United States. To us, being environmentally responsible is fundamental to being the better bank.”

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) defines a net-zero energy building (NZEB) as a residential or commercial building that produces in a year at least as much renewable power as the total energy it uses.

According to the DOE, an NZEB has two key energy features: The building is constructed with energy-efficient technologies that significantly reduce its energy demand, and renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, supply at least as much energy as the building uses over the course of a year.

The new TD Bank store will require approximately 97,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year to operate, but its 400 solar panels will produce a minimum of 100,000 kWh a year on site. Only eight buildings in the nation are registered as NZEBs with the DOE, and TD Bank will be the first to register a net-zero energy commercial bank.

“Opening a TD Bank that is energy efficient with solar panels that produce 100 percent of the store’s energy needs is a win for us, but most of all it’s a win for the environment,” says Jacquelynn Henke, Real Estate Green Strategy Officer, TD Bank. “Building this store in the Sunshine State made absolute sense. The store’s solar panels will get the sunshine they need, but it was also fitting to construct it here after learning that a majority of residents in South Florida believe green buildings have some impact on the environment.”

The new store opens after TD Bank recently released results of a poll that assessed consumers’ awareness of green buildings. The poll, which surveyed 1,510 consumers within major metro markets of TD Bank’s Maine to Florida footprint, revealed that nearly three quarters of respondents think green buildings have at least some impact on the environment. In South Florida, 78 percent of respondents conclude they believe the same.

As a result of its energy-efficient design, the net-zero energy bank will also target the highest level of LEED certification, LEED Platinum. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, evaluates buildings for their overall environmental performance in five areas: the use of sustainable sites, low water usage, energy efficiency, recycled materials and resource use, and indoor environmental air quality. The store was built according to TD Bank’s new green-store design standards, making it almost 50 percent more energy efficient than the bank’s previous design.

Last year, TD Bank achieved a number of environmental accomplishments, including:

  • receiving a 2010 Green Power Partner Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • purchasing renewable energy credits to meet 100 percent of the bank’s electricity needs, thereby becoming the largest U.S.-based bank to be carbon neutral
  • purchasing a block of wind energy to power all of its ATMs from Maine to Florida
  • partnering with parent company, TD Bank Group, to become participating members of paper manufacturer Boise Inc.’s Closed Loop System™ to buy, recycle, repurchase and repurpose 1,500 metric tons of paper from TD’s operations in the U.S. and Canada
  • opening its new green prototype store in Queens Village, N.Y., targeting the highest level of LEED certification, LEED Platinum
  • opening a 60,000 square-foot call center in Auburn, Maine, that achieved LEED-CI Platinum certification, the first building in the state to do so

To mark the store’s grand opening, TD Bank made a $50,000 donation to The Nature Conservancy, a Central Florida-based organization. The funds will be used to help protect and restore the Northern Everglades and the headwaters of the Everglades, which are among the great wetland landscapes in the United States.

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