WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program launched the 2012 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings with a record 3,200 buildings across the country going head-to-head to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs, and protect health and the environment. Commercial buildings in the U.S. are responsible for about 20 percent of the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion annually in energy bills. In 2011, the 245 participants saved $5.2 million on their utility bills and prevented nearly 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, equal to the emissions from the electricity used by more than 3,600 homes a year.

“This year the number of teams committing to increase energy efficiency through the Energy Star Battle of the Buildings is larger than ever before — more than ten times as many as last year,” said Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator. “We’re expecting record energy savings as more and more buildings cut back on their energy use. We wish the best to the thousands of teams competing, but we know the big winners will be the American people, who will benefit from the innovative ideas that emerge from the competition.” A list of buildings leading the competition at the half-way point of the competition will be released in the fall. The winner, along with top finalists in each building category with the largest percentage reduction in energy use in 2012 as compared to 2011, will be recognized in April 2013.

A list of competitors, social media updates (#ESNBC), and an interactive map of buildings and photos of the competition are available at www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings.

Publication date: 9/10/2012