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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Public Library honored for sustainability

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy were in Milwaukee last week to recognize the Central Library's shift toward more sustainable energy practices.

That shift was in response President Obama's Better Buildings Challenge, a program calling on state and local governments, corporations, and universities to reduce their overall energy consumption 20 percent by 2020.

The Central Library has become a national leader in sustainability.  Today it is about 60 percent more energy efficient than other libraries nationally, according to a release.  Since 2009, it has reduced its energy consumption about 7 percent, saving more than $36,000 annually.

Those savings are thanks to a number of eco-friendly upgrades.  New steam traps, high efficiency compact florescent light fixtures and solar panels have been installed, and motion sensors save energy in less-visited portions of the building.

The 457,000 square-foot building was built in 1895 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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