BOSTON -- Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the 2015 ENERGY STAR Battle of the Buildings. Nationwide, more than 6,500 buildings of all types and sizes, and 125 teams nationwide are competing head to head to reduce their energy and water use. In the six New England states, 124 buildings have joined the competition. In support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for businesses to cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020, the competition specifically targets wasted energy in commercial buildings and motivates organizations to improve energy efficiency, reduce harmful carbon pollution, and save money.
“Congratulations to all of the competitors in this year’s Battle of the Buildings, from police and fire stations to some of our biggest office buildings, and just about every type of building in between,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Year after year, New England citizens, businesses and organizations rise to the challenge to unlock energy and water savings, and protect our environment. In this race, everyone wins.”
In the only coast-to-coast competition of its kind, dozens of different types of commercial buildings face off in each year’s Battle of the Buildings. The Team Challenge features groups of five or more buildings that will work together to reduce their collective energy use over the course of a year. For example, Target, TD Bank and Staples have all signed up teams for this year’s competition.
New England buildings joining the competition include:
Massachusetts: 57 buildings, including 22 municipal buildings in the Town of Chelmsford, and buildings owned by PREI, TIAA CREF, J.C. Penney, Atria Senior Living, Boston Properties, Beacon Capital Partners, Verizon Wireless, and Staples.
Maine: 27 buildings, including seven TD Bank buildings, and buildings owned by the US General Services Administration (GSA), Atria Senior Living, and the Island Institute of Rockland.
Vermont: 15 buildings, all owned by GSA.
Connecticut: 14 buildings, including buildings owned by TIAA CREF, United Healthcare Group, Atria Senior Living, and GSA.
New Hampshire: Seven buildings, including buildings owned by TD Bank, United Healthcare Group, and GSA.
Rhode Island: Four buildings, including two owned by United Healthcare Group, and two owned by GSA.
Competitors measure and track their energy and water consumption online using EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which is a tool to measure and track energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Over the course of the competition, participants work to optimize or upgrade equipment, retrofit lighting, and change occupants’ behaviors— all with help from ENERGY STAR. The team and individual buildings with the largest percent reductions over a 12-month performance period will be declared winners. More than 1,000 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. Midpoint results will be posted in early October, and the winners will be announced in May 2016.
This is the sixth year EPA is hosting the Battle of the Buildings, and the competition and positive environmental impacts keep growing. Last year’s competitors saved a combined total of more than two billion kBtus of energy and an estimated $50 million on utility bills. More than 60 buildings in the competition demonstrated energy use reductions of 20 percent or greater over the course of the year.
Commercial buildings in the United States are responsible for 17 percent of the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $175 billion annually. By improving the energy efficiency of the places Americans work, play, and learn, the competitors help save energy and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
ENERGY STAR is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For more than 20 years, people across America have looked to EPA’s ENERGY STAR program for guidance on saving energy, saving money, and protecting the environment. Behind each blue label is a product, building, or home that is independently certified to use less energy and cause fewer of the emissions that contribute to climate change. Join the millions already making a difference at energystar.gov.
More information on EPA’s Energy Star Battle of the Buildings competition: www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings