The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program launched the National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings in 2011. Teams from 245 buildings around the country are going head-to-head to improve energy efficiency and determine who can reduce their energy use the most. Nearly five million commercial buildings in the United States are responsible for approximately 20 percent of both the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion annually. Through energy efficiency improvements, competitors are working to save energy, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and protect the health of Americans.
“I am excited to see so many companies joining our Battle of the Buildings competition and finding new ways to improve their energy efficiency,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We’re harnessing our nation’s innovative capacity to save money on electric bills, create a cleaner environment and protect the health of American families.”
The competition includes 26 different types of commercial buildings, such as retail stores, schools, hotels, and museums, some of which are more than 100 years old. Competitors will be able to exchange ideas and strategies through various social media applications, including a live Twitter feed and a Facebook forum. Information about all competitors, including photos and facts about each, will be featured on the competition website in addition to tips and links to consumer-friendly information about saving energy where Americans work, play, and learn.
Competitors will measure and track their building’s monthly energy consumption using EPA’s Energy Star online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. Of the initial 245 competitors, a small group of buildings will be selected as finalists in July. The finalists will be required to submit Statements of Energy Performance (SEPs) on their utility data for the entire competition period, which must be signed and stamped by a professional engineer or licensed architect. Among the finalists, the building with the largest percentage reduction in energy use will be recognized as the winner in November.
Energy Star was started by EPA in 1992 as a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by EPA. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved approximately $18 billion on their energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 33 million vehicles.
More information on the competition: http://www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings
Source: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program