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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Verizon Communications is stepping up its long-standing energy
conservation program by adjusting its building operating systems, identifying alternative energy sources, and
encouraging its 16,000 California employees to use energy more efficiently.
While the need for energy conservation has intensified recently with the California energy crisis, Verizon began
accelerating its efforts decades ago.
"Customers can be assured that local telephone service will continue to work without major disruption,"
said Tim McCallion, Verizon Pacific region president. "We've been working to reduce power consumption as
we design, construct and operate our facilities. So far, we have been able to minimize our power usage while
maintaining high standards and providing good customer service."
It is anticipated that the California crisis will cost Verizon an additional $3 million this year.
Under the direction of a 12-member company energy group nationally, Verizon has intensified its California initiatives
in four key energy-saving areas:
- Installing more efficient lighting, heating and air-conditioning systems in Verizon's facilities;
- Encouraging employees to use office lighting and equipment more efficiently, and to lower temperature settings.
Several thousand posters providing energy saving tips are now displayed in main entrances, elevator lobbies, break
rooms, cafeterias and other high visibility locations in Verizon buildings;
- Exploring additional ways to maximize the company's generators. Verizon has identified a potential site to
implement a pilot, bi-fueling project that allows diesel-powered generators to also operate on natural gas. Natural gas
is known to have less negative impact on the environment as well as being a more efficient energy source.
- Researching and evaluating opportunities for alternative energy sources including the use of molten carbonate
fuel-cell technology instead of phosphoric acid fuel cells. Molten carbonate fuel cells would generate electricity in the
telephone network's central offices by using hydrogen from natural gas. This technology is more environmentally
friendly than the currently used phosphoric acid fuel cells.
Verizon , formed by the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic, has been a leader in energy conservation in California. In the
early 1970s, the company began installing more energy-efficient lights and motors used for heating and air conditioning
in more than 1,000 buildings statewide. Over the years, the company has also:
- Restricted hot water in buildings, with the exception of those with food facilities;
- Replaced electric doors with revolving doors to better insulate heat and cold;
- Installed economizers to use outside air for cooling its buildings, reducing the need for air conditioning;
- Reduced the number of lamps in office buildings.
Six months ago, Verizon identified 100 buildings in California to implement even more efficient lighting and air
conditioning projects. Those efforts are presently underway in Huntington Beach, Hermosa Beach and the San
Fernando Valley, with high-energy consuming lamps being replaced with energy-efficient ones and the installation of
control mechanisms to import outside air for cooling buildings.
Since mid-1999, Verizon has saved more than $10 million nationally by implementing 14,000 energy specific
Despite periodic blackouts that have affected parts of California recently, Verizon customers have not experienced
major disruptions in their local telephone service because the company has backup power generators that
automatically kick in when needed. The staff of Verizon's Emergency Operations Center, located in the company's
Thousand Oaks regional headquarters, is continually monitoring the energy situation in California.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's
leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless
communications in the United States, with more than 101 million access line equivalents and more than 27 million
wireless customers, and the world's largest publisher of print and online directories. A Fortune 10 company with more
than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40
countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com