The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has 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 percent 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.
“Battle of the Buildings is a great opportunity for businesses to save money while reducing carbon pollution that contributes to climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “These are the kinds of smart, innovative solutions that are going to help solve the environmental challenges we face today.”
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.
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, Fla., a Catholic cathedral and rectory in Seattle, New York City’s historic 100 Park Avenue building, and Busch Stadium—home of the St. Louis Cardinals.
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.
EPA features a list of the competitors and their weigh-in results on the Energy Star website, a live Twitter feed where competitors will post updates on their progress, an interactive map of the competitors’ locations, and a user-generated photo stream where competitors can upload pictures of their energy-saving efforts.
Commercial buildings in the U.S. are responsible for approximately 20 percent of both the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion annually. By improving the energy efficiency of the places Americans work, play, and learn, the competitors will save energy and reduce harmful carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.
EPA’s Energy Star program helps people across America make the best choices to save energy, save money, and fight climate change – at home, at work, in their businesses, and in their communities. Only products, homes, and buildings that meet strict standards of energy efficiency and performance can earn the Energy Star label. In 2012 alone, Americans saved $24 billion on their utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of 50 million vehicles with the help of Energy Star.