Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Claiborne Elementary school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, won the fourth-annual Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. Teams from more than 3,000 buildings across the country spent the past year competing to see which one could reduce their buildings’ energy use the most. Claiborne Elementary School won by cutting its energy use nearly in half.
In support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for buildings to cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020, the competition targeted wasted energy in buildings and motivated building owners and occupants to improve energy efficiency, reduce harmful carbon pollution, and save money.
Together, competitors of this year’s National Building Competition saved more than $20 million and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 130,000 metric tons—equal to the annual energy use of nearly 18,000 homes. Many organizations used the competition to involve people—such as staff and students—who wouldn’t ordinarily be engaged in such efforts.
“We are so proud of the students and faculty of Claiborne Elementary for their incredible work in making their school more energy efficient,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “The Claiborne community’s teamwork is helping fight climate change while saving the school money on energy costs. Their efforts are a great example to schools and businesses of all sizes around the country.”
Claiborne Elementary students and teachers turned everyday actions into energy savings. Suggestions included adjusting thermostats, keeping doors and windows closed when the heat or A/C is on, turning off lights when they are last to leave a room, and making sure all electronic devices are shut off at the end of each day. The school also fine-tuned automated controls of the HVAC and lighting systems, making sure that lights were turned off in unoccupied areas and that the heating and cooling systems were optimized to run only when necessary.
Teams from more than 25 different types of commercial buildings faced off in this year’s Energy Star National Building Competition, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Nearly 50 buildings demonstrated energy use reductions of 20 percent or more in a single year.
The top overall finishers and their percentage-based reductions in energy use include:
Claiborne Elementary School, Baton Rouge, La. 45.9%
Hillside Center II, Columbia, Md. 37.1%
Lake Local - Lake High School/Wellness Center, Uniontown, Ohio 36.2%
UNC-Chapel Hill Bioinformatics Building, Chapel Hill, N.C. 35.8%
High Construction Company Building 105, Mechanicsburg, Pa. 35.3%
JCPenney, Shawnee, Okla. 33.9%
Studebaker Elementary School, Des Moines, Iowa 31.9%
McCombs Middle School, Des Moines, Iowa 29.7%
Eastman Chemical Company Building B-470, Kingsport, Tenn. 29.6%
Eastman Chemical Company Building B-469, Kingsport, Tenn. 29.6%
South Greene High School, Greeneville, Tenn. 29.2%
Fourth Walnut Centre, Cincinnati, Ohio 29.2%
DeBusk Elementary School, Greeneville, Tenn. 29.1%
University of Florida's Physical Plant Division Central Stores, Gainesville, Fla. 29.0%
West Middle School, Shelbyville, Ky. 28.9%
The fourth annual Energy Star National Building Competition measured energy performance for the entire 2013 calendar year. Competitors tracked their buildings' monthly energy consumption using EPA's online energy tracking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The energy use reductions for each top finisher were verified by an independently licensed professional engineer or registered architect at the end of the competition.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with EPA’s Energy Star program and are saving billions of dollars, preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year.
Products, homes and buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR label prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency requirements set by the U.S. EPA. In 2013 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved an estimated $30 billion on their utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use of more than 38 million homes. From the first ENERGY STAR qualified computer in 1992, the ENERGY STAR label can now be found on products in more than 70 different categories, with more than 4.5 billion sold. Over 1.5 million new homes and 23,000 office buildings, schools and hospitals have earned the ENERGY STAR label.
More information on the Energy Star National Building Competition, including top overall finishers and top finishers by building category, an interactive map of competitors, and a wrap-up report: http://www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings