The office of Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, was recognized Friday for its efforts to contribute to the greening of the Capitol.

Since the House began its Green the Capitol initiative in 2007, Capps’ office has been active in the program. Among the many steps the office has taken are comprehensive recycling and composting programs, and the installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs, smart power strips and occupancy sensors.

In the past six months, her office has saved 2,307 kilowatt hours of electricity and 1,969 pounds of landfill waste, and reduced its carbon output by 6,831 pounds. The efforts have reduced the office energy bill by $518.

“From passing legislation to installing smart light switches, this Congress is walking the walk when it comes to going green, and I am pleased that my office was recognized for its efforts. In addition to ‘Greening the Capitol,’ we are on a path to greening the country,” Capps said. “These efforts not only help protect our environment but will save increasing amounts of taxpayer dollars.

“On the legislative front, the Recovery Act has made historic investments in energy efficiency, alternative energy, advanced smart grid technologies and public transportation, and has provided tax credits for a range of home energy efficiency improvements. These steps are helping to jump-start our clean energy economy while creating much-needed jobs on the Central Coast and across the country.

“In addition, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, passed by the House, would take critical steps to address global warming by establishing policies like a nationwide Renewable Electricity Standard to bolster innovation in wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.”

— Ashley Schapitl is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.