WASHINGTON - Almost 2,000 buildings have earned the Energy Star designation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saving an estimated $200 million annually and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 6 billion pounds. The buildings qualifying for the Energy Star label use about 40 percent less energy without compromising comfort or services, says the agency.

Currently 1,964 buildings nationwide qualify for the Energy Star, says EPA, representing nearly 400 million square feet.

Among the buildings are more than 900 offices and 400 public schools. Supermarkets, medical offices, hospitals, and hotels account for another 655 labeled buildings. These labeled buildings can be found in every state and the District of Columbia. States that are home to the most Energy Star qualifying buildings include Texas, with more than 250 qualifying buildings, and California, with more than 500 qualifying buildings. In 2004, more than 700 buildings received the Energy Star label, the largest increase since the program began. More than 50 percent of the buildings joining the program were supermarkets or grocery stores.

Buildings earn the Energy Star by scoring a 75 or higher on EPA's 100-point national energy rating scale. The average of all buildings qualifying for Energy Star, through 2004, is 84. These buildings must also meet industry standards for comfort and indoor air quality, as verified by a professional engineer. For more information about the Energy Star program, visit www.energystar.gov.

Publication date: 02/21/2005