WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that houses of worship can now earn the Energy Star label, joining the nation’s schools, hospitals, hotels, and other facilities in their efforts to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint. EPA’s energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, allows facilities to track energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions, set targets for investment priorities, and verify efficiency improvements. Now the estimated 370,000 houses of worship across the United States can use Portfolio Manager to receive an energy performance rating, and the most energy efficient can earn the Energy Star label.

According to the EPA, worship facilities in the United States spend more than $3 billion annually on energy costs. Improving the energy efficiency of America’s houses of worship by just 10 percent would save nearly 2 billion kilowatt-hours each year, preventing more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and representing a cost savings of about $315 million annually.

Through Energy Star, EPA provides an energy management strategy and free tools for public and private organizations to save energy and money through increased energy efficiency.

For more information about Energy Star for congregations, visit www.energystar.gov/congregations. To learn more about EPA’s Portfolio Manager, visit www.energystar.gov/istar/pmpam.

Publication date:09/14/2009