WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has challenged commercial and institutional building owners to improve energy efficiency by 10 percent or more to conserve energy, save money, and protect the environment. More than 20 states, groups, and businesses joined EPA to issue the Energy Star Challenge, which calls on building owners to assess energy usage, set efficiency improvement goals of 10 percent or greater, and make cost-effective improvements. EPA also honored 13 Energy Star Leaders - businesses, school districts, and health care institutions from across the country that have improved energy efficiency by implementing the Energy Star assessment and rating system.

"Improved energy efficiency provides one of the greatest opportunities for cost-effective reduction in pollution and greenhouse gases and improvement in energy security," said Jeff Holmstead, EPA assistant administrator of Air and Radiation. "Our Energy Star Leaders show that we're up to the challenge. With the Energy Star Challenge, we want to repeat and increase these successes at thousands of businesses and institutions across the country."

The Energy Star Leaders recognized include: Cambridge Savings Bank; Colorado Springs School District 11; Columbus Hospitality; Douglas, Emmett & Company; Food Lion LLC; Giant Eagle Inc.; Granite Properties; H-E-B Grocery Co.; New York-Presbyterian Hospital; Rochester City School District (N.Y.); South Colonie Central School District (N.Y.); USAA Real Estate Co.; and The Vanguard Group.

The associations joining to issue the Energy Star Challenge include: American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA); American Society of Healthcare Engineers of the American Hospital Association (ASHE); Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO); Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA); Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI); Food Marketing Institute (FMI); National Association of Counties (NACo); National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO); National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO); Public Technology Institute (PTI); Real Estate Roundtable; SACIA-The Business Council of Fairfield County, Conn.; and US Telecomm Association (USTA). The states and state-based organizations include: California State Teachers Retirement Systems (CalSTRS); Delaware; Efficiency Vermont; Maine; New Hampshire; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Ohio; Pennsylvania; and Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University.

For more information about Energy Star, visit www.energystar.gov.

Publication date: 04/04/2005