The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program has launched the 2012 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. This year, 3,200 buildings across the country will be competing to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs and protect health and the environment. With that kind of challenge, every participant wins. Last year, 245 participants saved a combined $5.2 million on their utility bills and prevented nearly 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The competition is open to commercial buildings, which are responsible for approximately 20% of the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion annually in energy bills.
A winner will be announced in April 2013. In the meantime, follow us after the break for more on the potential behind this competition.
The EPA will recognize the buildings that have reduced their energy consumption by more than 20% and saved the most water over the course of the competition. The top finishers in specific building categories will also be recognized. The competition has had a large increase of competitors this year, from 14 in 2012 and 245 in 2011 to 3,200 this year. It shows that organizations and commercial buildings are concerned with their affects on the environment and are willing to support efforts to improve their energy consumption.
Thirty different types of buildings from all 50 states, including Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia have entered the competition this year. Competitors include banks, museums, government agencies, city-run buildings, stadiums, health care facilities, hotels, resorts, schools, department stores, warehouses, and many other private offices.
The Portfolio Manager, an online tool on EPA’s website allows the buildings to track their progress, which is publicly available. The WaterSense program is a new addition that will recognize top water use reducers. The EPA and the Energy Star program is celebrating its 20th year anniversary. It has helped market energy efficient products on the market, saving businesses and families over $230 billion in utility bills.
To view a list of this year’s competitors, visit the official website.