Commercial Buildings See a Big Payoff with EPA Partnerships

Feb. 20, 2014
Programs prove to be good for business and the environment.

Time and budget constraints often make green initiatives difficult to implement, but with the EPA’s publication of its Climate Protection Partnerships 2012 Report, facility managers now have data to demonstrate a program’s worth on a building’s bottom line. The report highlighted the advancements of the EPA’s 13 partnerships.

The achievements of organizations that participated in ENERGY STAR programs were a major win. The EPA examined more than 35,000 commercial buildings that consistently used the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool from 2008 to 2011. The buildings slashed greenhouse gas emissions by 6% and energy savings improved by 7%, on average.

Commercial buildings that earned the ENERGY STAR certification faired even better – ENERGY STAR buildings emit 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and use 35% less energy than average buildings. By the end of 2012, more than 20,000 facilities earned the certification. According to the report, the economic impact of participation in these programs is $7.5 billion.

Two other partnerships that saw success were the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership and the Green Power Partnership (GPP). The CHP Partnership assisted in the deployment of more than 156 mW of CHP systems nationwide, which accounts for 18% of all new CHP systems. In 2012, efforts from this partnership accounted for the reduction of 31.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MMTCO2e).

The GPP is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. More than 1,400 organizations are a part of the GPP and have committed to buying about 29 billion kWh of green power annually – enough electricity to run more than 2 million average American homes for one year.

To see the full report, visit www.energystar.gov.

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