WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is sponsoring a national energy efficiency contest featuring 14 commercial buildings from across the country. The building that sheds the most energy waste on a percentage basis will be declared the winner at EPA’s final weigh-in on Oct. 26, 2010.

According to the EPA, on average, 30 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. “It’s time for buildings to tighten their belts, and we’re happy to help them go on an energy diet,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for air and radiation. “Cutting energy use will reduce their monthly expenses and their carbon footprint, showing that environmental protection and economic growth can go hand in hand.”

Nearly 200 applications were received for EPA’s National Building Competition; the 14 finalists will be judged on their energy performance from Sept. 1, 2009, to Aug. 31, 2010. The energy use of each building is being monitored with Portfolio Manager, EPA’s Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool. Television personality Bob Harper will also provide energy fitness tips for the contestants through a series of videos that will be available on the website: www.energystar.gov/BuildingContest.

Publication date:05/10/20010