What is a Net-Zero Energy Bank Location?

Ask TD Bank, a leading bank in America. It is trying to become as green as possible. The bank says it is building a net-zero energy bank location in the United States. The new net-zero energy TD Bank store will open this spring in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. It was announced today, Feb. 1.

A June 2010 report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory defined a net-zero energy building (NZEB) as a residential or commercial building that produces and exports in a year at least as much renewable power as the total energy it uses.

According to the report, an NZEB has two key energy features: The building is constructed with energy-efficient technologies that significantly reduce its energy demand, and renewable energy sources supply at least as much energy as the building uses over the course of a year.

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The new store, which is already under construction and will be connected to the local utility grid, will require approximately 97,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year to operate, but it will produce a minimum of 100,000 kWh a year on site.

The net-zero energy TD Bank store will also target the highest level of LEED certification, LEED Platinum. Only eight buildings in the nation are registered as NZEBs with the DOE, and TD Bank will be the first to register a net-zero energy bank, the bank claims.

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It has opened 17 stores and offices targeting LEED certification for their green design. LEED evaluates buildings for their overall environmental performance in five areas: sustainable sites, water use, energy efficiency, materials and resource use, and indoor environmental quality.

“TD Bank is committed to being an environmental leader and making a positive social impact. Developing green stores isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes good business sense too,” said Bharat Masrani, president and CEO, TD Bank. “To us, being environmentally responsible is fundamental to being the better bank.”

[ Also Read: TD Bank Opens New Green Call Center ]

The new net-zero energy store will achieve the second-highest level within the four-tier NZEB classification system described in the DOE report. “B” classification out of NZEB “A” to NZEB “D,” is identified as an energy-efficient building that generates enough renewable energy within the building’s footprint and from its adjacent land.

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The store is based on TD Bank’s new green-store design standards, which make new TD Bank locations almost 50 percent more energy efficient than the bank’s previous design.

The green stores feature a solar drive-thru canopy that produces nearly 20 percent of the buildings’ annual energy needs and design elements that make them more energy efficient to help them achieve LEED certification.

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The new net-zero energy store, however, will also generate energy through solar panels mounted on the store’s roof and a field of solar panels on the building’s surrounding property.

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Rakesh Raman