WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing its 2013 WaterSense Partners of the Year, including two partners who received the first-ever WaterSense Sustained Excellence awards in recognition of their continuous high level of support. The Partner of the Year awards program recognizes the commitment of WaterSense partners in promoting water efficiency to the American public. The award winners’ efforts, along with those of more than 2,700 other WaterSense partners, have helped Americans save 487 billion gallons of water and $8.9 billion in water and energy bills.
“All of our WaterSense partners have taken steps to reduce our nation’s water use, but several stood out in 2012 for their commitment to the WaterSense program and collaborative efforts to promote WaterSense-labeled products, new homes and outreach and educational programs,” said EPA’s acting Assistant Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner. “We are pleased to honor these organizations which have consistently supported our mission to protect the future of our nation’s water supply.”
The following partners were formally recognized for their water-saving efforts during the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas, Nev., at a special awards ceremony cosponsored by the Alliance for Water Efficiency and Southern Nevada Water Authority.
Sustained Excellence Award Winners:
Kohler Co., a three-time WaterSense Manufacturer Partner of the Year and two-time Excellence Award winner, continued to drive demand for WaterSense-labeled products in 2012. Kohler crisscrossed the country to promote its WaterSense-labeled products at industry shows in Orlando, Chicago and San Francisco and even made a stop at Home Depot’s 2012 Earth Day Celebration in New York City’s Times Square to demonstrate the flushing power of its WaterSense-labeled toilets.
Lowes, Inc., a three-time WaterSense Retailer Partner of the Year and 2011 Excellence Award winner, helped Americans become more water-efficient in 2012 by increasing its online inventory of WaterSense-labeled products, promoting bilingual WaterSense marketing materials, and developing a smartphone application to help employees find WaterSense-labeled product rebates for customers.
Partners of the Year:
Promotional Partner of the Year: Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Public Utilities Department piloted a commercial program to educate restaurant owners on the benefits of WaterSense-labeled products and celebrated Fix a Leak Week 2012 by holding workshops and installing WaterSense-labeled fixtures in a community building that reduced its water use by 50 percent.
Large Manufacturer Partner of the Year: Delta Faucet Company conducted a coast-to-coast collaborative effort with a variety of WaterSense partners and stakeholders during Fix a Leak Week 2012. Delta installed its WaterSense-labeled plumbing fixtures in 1,900 housing units in 10 cities across the country, resulting in more than 7 million gallons in estimated annual water savings.
Small Manufacturer Partner of the Year: Niagara Conservation Corp. partnered with local utilities and plumbers to develop Niagara Green City, a program promoting water- and energy-efficient products, and assembled plumbing kits with WaterSense-labeled products for local utilities to distribute throughout their communities.
Retailer Partner of the Year: The Home Depot was recognized by EPA for the second consecutive year for its efforts to promote WaterSense in all of its U.S. stores, as well as online. The Home Depot’s “Eco Options” website, featuring WaterSense-labeled products and water savings calculators, garnered more than 2.5 million hits in 2012.
Builder Partner of the Year: KB Home, now a three-time WaterSense Builder Partner of the Year, continued to break new ground in 2012 with the construction of WaterSense-labeled new homes across the country. KB Home continued to raise the bar by building its first ZeroHouse 2.0 model in the Washington, D.C., area to also earn the WaterSense label.
Professional Certifying Organization Partner of Year: The Irrigation Association (IA) received its first WaterSense Partner of Year award in the professional certifying organization category for encouraging irrigators to become certified through its WaterSense-labeled programs, introducing WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers to thousands of industry stakeholders, and assisting WaterSense in continued work toward labeling soil moisture-based control technologies.
Irrigation Partner of Year: John Taylor, the president of Taylor Irrigation Service, Inc., in Houston, Texas, and a certified irrigation auditor, overhauled his company’s business model in 2012 to focus on promoting water-smart landscaping and efficient irrigation practices, including WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers.
Six Excellence Awards were also given at the conference to partners for their outstanding contributions in specific program areas:
• City of Boulder (Colo.) Department of Public Works/Utilities for Excellence in Promoting WaterSense-labeled Products
• Colorado Springs (Colo.) Utilities for Excellence in Strategic Collaboration
• Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, and Town of Sharon, Mass., for Excellence in Education and Outreach
• Sonoma-Marin (Calif.) Saving Water Partnership for Excellence in Promoting WaterSense and Water-Efficient Irrigation Practices
• Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver (Colo.) for Excellence in Construction of Affordable WaterSense-labeled New Homes
Learn more about the 2013 Sustained Excellence Award winners, WaterSense Partners of the Year, and Excellence Award winners at www.epa.gov/watersense.