With the nation’s workplaces, retail shops, and learning environments using approximately $80 million worth of electricity and natural gas annually, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to stir interest in energy efficiency. The Energy Star® program has a new challenge for building owners – improve the efficiency of buildings by 10 percent.
The EPA estimates that if each building owner took this challenge, by 2015 Americans would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20 MMTCE (equivalent to the emissions from 15 million vehicles) while saving about $10 billion.
The Energy Star Challenge calls on owners nationwide to identify where financially attractive improvements can reduce energy, making significant changes immediately through proven strategies such as building tune-ups, lighting upgrades, and replacement of old equipment. Three important actions are recommended:
- Determine how much energy buildings are using. By continually measuring energy use, inefficiencies can be identified with greater ease. The EPA’s national energy performance rating system can help by providing benchmarks of similar buildings across the country. The rating system scores building’s energy efficiency on a scale of 1 to 100 and is available by visiting (www.energystar.gov/benchmark).
- Establish efficiency improvement goals – with the minimum efficiency of 10 percent being strived for in one building or an entire portfolio.
- Make improvements. The EPA recognizes owners that follow-through with their energy goals and encourages them to share the results.
According to the EPA and Energy Star program, “Owning a building that achieves top energy performance is a sign of good management; owning a portfolio of buildings that achieve continuous improvement in energy performance demonstrates superior management and environmental leadership.” Those companies that achieve or exceed the 10 percent Energy Star Challenge are recognized as Energy Star Leaders. To become an Energy Star Leader, visit (www.energystar.gov/benchmark) to login to EPA’s Portfolio Manager and create your Energy Star Leaders’ account. To find out more about the challenge and the advantages of participating, visit (www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=leaders.bus_challenge).
This information was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Star program (www.energystar.gov).