CARPINTERIA, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 1, 2014) -

WHAT: This week the Department of Energy (DOE) held the Workplace Charging Challenge Summit 2014, where they recognized employers who demonstrated leadership in supporting the development of the national plug-electric vehicle (PEV) charging infrastructure.

WHO: Santa Barbara's own was one of fewer than 20 percent of all Challenge partners who received this recognition presented by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar. The DOE launched the Workplace Charging Challenge in 2013 with the goal of achieving a tenfold increase in the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging by 2018.

WHY: The interest of in PEVs and commitment to sustainability wasn't born solely from its decision to participate in the Challenge. In fact, commitment to workplace charging is just one piece of the company's larger sustainability program, which aims to alleviate the impact of employees' commutes by providing incentives for employees to carpool, use public transportation and ride bicycles to work, in addition to encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

Inspired by a growing number of PEVs in the local market, as well as interest from current and potential employees for cheaper, easier and more environmentally friendly commutes to work, installed its first on-site PEV charger -- a "juice bar" with two 220-volt chargers and two 110-volt outlets -- at the company's Carpinteria headquarters. The chargers were intended to serve both PEV-driving employees as well as the fleet of small PEVs that service the company's 8-acre campus.

The number of EV drivers at has grown by more than 500 percent in less than two years. "We have continued to add charging as demand grows and new locations open," said Dana Jennings, facilities supervisor at Workplace charging stations are also available at the new office in San Francisco, which is housed in a LEED certified building offering two charging stations. There are also plans to install a charging station in Calabasas next year.

Overall, the commuter program has proven to be a success and is making a difference. The facilities department of estimates that the twelve PEV commuters save 24,000 pounds of CO2 equivalent each year. From November 2013 to November 2014, the overall commuting program reduced carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 91,000 pounds -- strides that will help the company achieve its goal of reducing landfill waste by five percent of total waste by year-end.

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Scott Thornburg