This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 30, 2014

EPA Starts Fifth-Annual Energy Star Battle of the Buildings

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on July 10 launched the 2014 Energy Star Battle of the Buildings: Team Challenge. Operators of more than 5,500 buildings nationwide are going head-to-head to reduce their energy use. Midpoint results will be posted in October, with the winner to be announced in April 2015.

In the only coast-to-coast competition of its kind, operators of dozens of different types of commercial buildings are facing off in the Energy Star Battle of the Buildings. This year’s theme, “Team Challenge,” features teams of five or more buildings whose managers will work together to reduce their collective energy use as much as possible over the course of the year. For example, “Team Staples” includes 17 Staples stores, while 15 Whole Foods stores will support each other as part of “Team Whole Foods Market.” And the Kroger Co. team will include more than 2,300 buildings nationwide. In New Castle County, Delaware, 13 elementary schools will compete as part of a team, going up against their county’s five middle schools and six high schools.

This year marks the fifth year that EPA has hosted the Battle of the Buildings, and the competition has grown considerably since that time. Altogether, last year’s competitors saved an estimated $20 million on utility bills. Nearly 50 buildings in that competition demonstrated energy use reductions of 20% or greater. See the EPA news release and the Battle of the Buildings website.