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Energy Department Recognizes State of Maryland for Energy Efficiency Leadership Through Better Buildings Challenge


The Western Maryland Railway Station in Cumberland, Maryland was built in 1913 photo credit: Travis Gardner

The Maryland Energy Administration and Department of General Services conducted an energy audit of the Western Maryland Railway Station in Cumberland, MD with support from the U.S. Department of Energy. The audit identified several cost-effective energy conservation measures which included replacement of the building’s 20+-year-old HVAC system, updates to the lighting system, and improvements to the building envelope involving air sealing and insulation. The State of Maryland renovated the facility primarily to address occupant comfort issues, and although the historical facility presented unique challenges for improvements, a comprehensive building upgrade resulted in a 21% annual energy savings with an annual cost savings of $12,100.

reposted from U.S. Department of Energy on December 2, 2020

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized the State of Maryland for energy efficiency advances made through DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge. As a partner in the program, Maryland reduced its energy intensity by 20% over its 9-million-square-foot buildings portfolio, and has now committed to another goal of 15% energy reduction across a broader portfolio of over 90 million square feet.

In a live, virtual event, Maryland staff outlined several of the state’s efficiency strategies for reaching and exceeding its Better Buildings Challenge goal. DOE and Maryland staff virtually toured the state’s Western Maryland Railway Station, a Better Buildings Showcase Project that saves 21% annually on energy costs compared to a 2016 baseline. The building serves as the headquarters of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority (CPPDA) and houses offices for elected officials and local businesses, a museum, and a park and visitor’s center.

Click here for the Better Buildings Challenge virtual site visit of the CPPDA.

As a historic facility, the 25,000-square-foot station presented unique challenges for energy efficient improvements. With support from DOE, Maryland and CPPDA first conducted an energy audit of the facility and identified several cost-effective energy conservation measures. Renovations included replacing the 20+-year-old HVAC system, replacing more than 500 light fixtures with LEDs, and upgrading the building envelope with new insulation and air sealing.

In addition to saving energy and costs, these upgrades also improved occupant comfort. Station tenants were previously using space heaters at their work stations to address drafts and uncomfortable temperature variations – issues that the new HVAC system has eliminated. Combined, the renovations have also cut station maintenance costs by more than 70% annually.


Through the Better Buildings Initiative, DOE partners with public and private sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings more efficient, thereby saving energy and money while creating thousands of jobs. To date, more than 950 Better Buildings Partners have shared their innovative approaches and strategies for adopting energy efficient technologies. Discover more than 2,500 of these solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center.