EnergyStar is the most trusted label of energy efficiency in the U.S. It is a voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that delivers environmental benefits and financial value through superior energy efficiency, according to EnergyStar.
No matter where you see it, there is only one meaning behind an EnergyStar label–”an energy-efficient top performer that saves money without sacrificing performance.” EnergyStar will certify buildings that save energy, save money, and help protect the environment by generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions than average buildings.
Commercial buildings and industrial plants are in fact responsible for nearly half of the nation’s energy use and nearly half of its greenhouse gas emissions, according to EnergyStar. By partnering with and earning the EnergyStar certification, business owners can improve their energy performance, improve energy efficiency, and earn recognition in the community and among consumers.
How to get ENERGY STAR certified
It is not easy to be eligible for EnergyStar certification. The building must meet strict energy performance standards set by the EPA. The EPA will score a building. Also, the grading process has to be completed by a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) to be eligible for approval.
The building must earn a score of at least 75 out of 100, meaning it performs better than at least 75% of the similar buildings nationwide. When doing their calculations, the EPA will also take operating conditions, regional weather, and number of occupants etc. into consideration to ensure fairness.
Instead of evaluating the building alone or comparing it to various types of buildings in the country, EnergyStar will actually compare the building with other buildings of the same primary use.
What are the advantages of getting the certification?
According to EnergyStar, the benefits of getting the certification include:
- No cost: all EPA tools and resources are free to use
- Connect with customers: 85% of Americans recognize the EnergyStar label
- Lower operating costs: EnergyStar certified buildings spend 35% less energy than similar buildings nationwide
- Higher income and increased rental value: EnergyStar certified buildings generate more income when compared to similar buildings
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: EnergyStar certified buildings typically use 35% less energy on average
- Attract workers: over 80% of workers are attracted by an employer with an environmental reputation
- Increased occupancy rates: EnergyStar certified buildings have a 4% boost to occupancy rates on average
- Lease to federal tenants: EnergyStar certification is required for leasing to a federal tenant
- Manage risk when developing priorities: when designing to earn the EnergyStar certification, the design itself can help mitigate risks to profitability
- Hedge against future mandates: numerous cities and states have passed legislation containing energy efficiency mandates for commercial new construction project and existing buildings. By getting the certification now, you are in a better position to respond to future policies