The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched the 2014 Energy Star Battle of the Buildings: Team Challenge. More than 5,500 buildings nationwide are going head-to-head to reduce energy use. In support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for businesses to cut in half the amount of energy they waste over the next 20 years, the competition specifically targets wasted energy in commercial buildings, and will motivate businesses to improve energy efficiency, reduce harmful carbon pollution and save money.
In the only coast-to-coast competition of its kind, dozens of different types of commercial buildings, including healthcare facilities, are facing off in this year’s Energy Star Battle of the Buildings. 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.
This year marks the fifth year that EPA has hosted the Battle of the Buildings. The competition — and positive environmental impacts — have grown exponentially since that time. 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 work to optimize or upgrade equipment, retrofit lighting and change 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 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 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 details, visit www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings.