3,200 buildings are competing for Energy Star recognition in EPA’s 2013 National Building Competition.
On August 20, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the fourth annual Energy Star National Building Competition to promote energy efficiency in commercial buildings. The 2013 competition has more than 3,200 participants – compared to just 14 participants in 2010 – and represents more than 25 types of buildings representing 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. The “Battle of the Buildings,” competition calls for commercial buildings to reduce energy waste and curb carbon emissions with an aim to increase energy efficiency by at least 20 percent by 2020.
EPA requires participants to report their building’s monthly energy consumption data for the 2013 calendar year using EPA’s Portfolio Manager online energy tracking tool. Participants can reduce energy waste through building retrofits, optimized maintenance operations, and other energy-saving activities. The building that demonstrates the highest percentage-based energy use reduction will be recognized as the winner.
According to EPA, commercial buildings account for approximately 20 percent of total U.S. energy use and carbon emissions, costing more than $100 billion annually. Participants of the 2012 Battle of the Buildings saved more than $50 million in energy costs and achieved emissions reductions equal to the electricity consumption of more than 43,000 homes. In 2012, Energy Star programs enabled U.S. consumers to save $24 billion on utility bills and prevent carbon emissions equivalent to those of 50 million vehicles.
Energy Star has expanded the 2013 competition to include commercial tenants occupying a floor or portion of a building. It has also added new recognition categories including “Top Tenant” to recognize the winning tenant and “Most Valuable Participant” to recognize the building with the highest combined score of energy use reduction and communication activities.
EPA will release the mid-point weigh-in results in December and announce the winner in April 2014.