Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program announced the top contenders at the midpoint of the 2011 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. The list of top contenders identifies the leaders with the greatest percent reduction of energy use in each of the twelve building categories in the competition. EPA also provided an update on the progress of all participants as they continue to go head-to-head to save energy, reduce costs and protect Americans’ health and their environment.
“Competitors in the second year of the Energy Star Battle of the Buildings are already achieving energy-savings that really pack a punch,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy. “The stories behind these energy-savings speak to the dedication of American businesses and organizations to protecting the environment and public health, and to economic common sense.”
In the first six months of the competition alone, teams representing 245 buildings around the country have saved more than $3.7 million on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by 2,300 homes annually. Competitors measure and track their building’s monthly energy consumption using EPA’s Energy Star online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. The building with the largest percentage reduction in energy use, adjusted for weather and the size of the building, will be recognized as the winner in November.
The top contenders in each building category/percent energy reduction at the midpoint of the competition:
University of Central Florida Garage C (Other): Orlando, Fla. 31%
Scientific Instruments (Office): West Palm Beach, Fla. 30%
Jackson Creek Middle School (K-12 school): Bloomington, Ind. 26%
USE Credit Union (Bank): San Diego, Calif. 20%
North Suburban Medical Office Building (Medical Office): Thornton, Colo. 18%
Office Depot (Retail Store): Plano, Texas 17%
Hammond U.S. Courthouse (Courthouse): Hammond, Ind. 14%
First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis (House of Worship): Minneapolis, Minn. 14%
St Mark’s Medical Center (Hospital): La Grange, Texas 10%
Norandex (Warehouse): Rochester, N.Y. 8%
Kenan Residence Hall at UNC (Dorm): Chapel Hill, N.C. 3%
The Colonnade Hotel (Hotel): Boston, Mass. 2%
Competitors from 26 different types of commercial buildings across 33 states and the District of Columbia are utilizing social media applications, including a live Twitter feed and a Facebook forum to exchange ideas and strategies. Consumers can also go online to view details on the competitors in their region and find information about saving energy where they work, play, and learn.
Energy Star was started by EPA in 1992 as a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by EPA. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved about $18 billion on their energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 33 million vehicles.