This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
EPA Kicks Off Energy Star National Building Competition
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on August 20 launched the 2013 Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. Teams from more than 3,000 buildings across the country are competing to see who can most reduce their buildings’ energy use. In support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for buildings to cut waste and become at least 20% more energy efficient by 2020, the competition specifically targets wasted energy in commercial buildings and motivates businesses to improve energy efficiency, reduce harmful carbon pollution, and save money.
More than 25 different types of commercial buildings are facing off in this year’s Energy Star National Building Competition, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The diverse field of competitors includes the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, Florida; a Catholic cathedral and rectory in Seattle, Washington; New York City’s historic 100 Park Avenue building; and Busch Stadium—home of the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis, Missouri. Competitors measure and track their buildings’ monthly energy consumption using Portfolio Manager, EPA's Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool, and work over the year to cut energy waste through improvements that range from equipment replacement to changes in occupant behavior. Midpoint “weigh-in” results will be posted in December, with the winner announced in April 2014.
The number of participants in the Battle of the Buildings has increased from 14 buildings in 2010—the competition’s first year—to more than 3,200 buildings in 2013. Altogether, last year’s competitors cut their energy costs by more than $50 million and reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by more than 43,000 homes. Commercial buildings in the United States are responsible for approximately 20% of both the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion annually. See the EPA press release and the Battle of the Buildings website.