WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the 2014 Energy Star Battle of the Buildings: Team Challenge. More than 5,500 buildings nationwide are competing to reduce their energy use. The competition specifically targets energy waste in commercial buildings, to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon pollution, and save money.
This year’s theme, Team Challenge, features teams of five or more buildings who will work together to reduce their collective energy use as much as possible over the course of a year. For example, “Team Staples” includes 17 Staples stores, while 15 Whole Foods stores will support each other as part of “Team Whole Foods Market.” In New Castle County, Delaware, 13 elementary schools will compete as part of a team, and they’re going up against their county’s five middle schools and six high schools. In Hillsborough County, Florida, fire stations will team up to compete against libraries.
Now in its fifth year, the competition’s energy savings have grown significantly. Altogether, last year’s competitors saved an estimated $20 million on utility bills. Nearly 50 buildings in the competition demonstrated energy use reductions of 20 percent or greater.
Competitors will measure and track their buildings’ monthly energy consumption using EPA’s online energy measurement and tracking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Building teams will focus on optimizing or upgrading equipment, retrofitting lighting, and changing occupants’ behaviors — all with help from Energy Star. The team that reduces its buildings’ average energy use the most, on a percentage basis over a 12-month performance period, will be declared the winner. In addition to the team competition, 700 individual buildings are also competing in a special water reduction category, and will work with EPA’s WaterSense program to apply best practices for commercial building water management.
EPA will maintain a website devoted to the competition, featuring a list of the competitors and their starting, midpoint, and final standings, a live Twitter feed where competitors will post updates on their progress, and an interactive map of the competitor’s locations. Midpoint results will be posted in October, with the winner announced in April 2015.
For more information on the competition, go to www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings.
Publication date: 8/11/2014