We’re committed to bettering our environment and bringing green initiatives to life at each of our facilities. Whether an initiative is big or small, we know our cumulative efforts are what will make a difference in the long term. We’re proud of what we’re doing, and we hope you see the efforts we’re making as we continue to build on our green program every year.
Our Indianapolis facility earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its sustainable design and water efficiency efforts. Becoming a LEED-certified property was a labor of love, and while we may not go through the official process again, it allowed us to create a benchmark of sustainable building items that have been incorporated into all of our subsequent facilities.
Ensuring that we have the best possible fleet for our customers and the environment means we are constantly evaluating new technologies. Over the past 10 years, we’ve made the effort to transition much of our fleet to Sprinters, which have higher fuel efficiency than traditional shuttles and CNG-fueled vehicles, which produce up to 25 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Several years ago, we were even honored with a three-star rating from the Ohio Green Fleet for deploying 10 CNG shuttles at our Cleveland Fast Park facility. While we’re proud of these efforts, we’re always looking at better options. In fact, we hope to one day add electronic or hybrid shuttles to our fleet.
FastCharge EV Charging Stations
Supporting our energy-conscious customers with complimentary electric vehicle charging is very important to us. Every new Fast Park facility since 2013 features dedicated EV charging stations, with the infrastructure to add more as demand grows. We call this service FastCharge and offer it at no additional cost. Our previously constructed facilities, that do not yet have dedicated stations, offer outdoor-rated GFIs. All of these efforts are designed to provide a fully charged car when customers return from their trips.
Nearly all of our facilities feature covered parking. Our customers enjoy this feature because it protects their cars from inclement weather. We enjoy this feature, because it not only makes our customers happy, but it also benefits the environment by reducing the heat island effect, lowering area temperatures.
Energy conservation at our facilities has been a topic of conversation for years. From our heating and air conditioning systems to the lighting we use, we continuously evaluate products that allow us to save money and reduce our overall energy consumption. For several years we’ve been taking advantage of geo-thermal heating. These efforts have led to a reduction of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. Since we are open 24/7, we have to ensure we are using energy-efficient lighting. Over the years, we’ve transitioned from T5 to T8 lighting and are now in the process of transitioning to LED lighting throughout our footprint. We’ve taken advantage of this technology with our signage program for some time but are now upgrading our parking lot and office building lighting with this highly efficient technology.
Solar Panel Program
Our ultimate goal is for every Fast Park location to become a net zero consumption facility, meaning the total amount of energy used by the facility on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created. A big part of that initiative is utilizing alternative energy sources. Our unique layout of land and carports makes our sites perfect for large solar arrays. In 2010, we made the decision to incorporate the 250 kW solar panel infrastructure in each of our developments, knowing that when the time is right, we’ll be poised to implement a solar program quickly. In Austin and Orlando, we were able to work through local, state and federal programs to make solar a reality. Our Austin facility has a 79.38kW system which will reduce emissions by 100 tons per year, while our Orlando facility has a 24.9kW system or enough energy to power approximately 30 homes.