Enthusiasm for water and energy data collection for commercial and residential buildings has been growing strong across the U.S. in major cities such as Austin, New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. It's no surprise to learn that Earth-friendly Seattle is ahead of the game when it comes to tracking its buildings; reports show that the city is receiving data for a whopping 87% of its commercial and multi-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet, which totals to 1,160 individual properties covering over 200 million square feet of the city.
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.
PORTLAND–A recent study by Portland-based Earth Advantage Institute reveals that Energy Star and LEED certification for new and existing homes not only saves money but might also raise resale value. The study, conducted over four years in the six-county Portland metropolitan area, found that newly constructed homes with third-party certifications for sustainability and energy efficiency sold for 8% more on average than non-certified homes, and existing homes with certifications sold for 30% more. A similar study was also conducted Seattle, showing 9.6% price premium with certification. While the results are inconclusive, they are compelling. From the Washington Post Writers Group VIA Los Angeles Times: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/28/business/la-fi-harney-20110828