About ENERGY STAR for commercial and industrial buildings

America’s energy efficiency program

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that delivers environmental benefits and financial value through superior energy efficiency. By certifying top-performing products, homes, and buildings, ENERGY STAR helps us all make energy-efficient choices.

ENERGY STAR is best known as the little blue mark on consumer products. But, since 1992, EPA has also worked with businesses and public-sector organizations to transform the way that commercial buildings and industrial plants use energy.

Today, thousands of facility owners and managers use ENERGY STAR to:

  • Assess how their properties are performing
  • Adopt an energy management strategy
  • Identify ways to save energy, cut costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Earn recognition
  • Communicate their energy-saving efforts to the public

By the end of 2012, with help from ENERGY STAR, American families and businesses saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA’s 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score

Through ENERGY STAR, EPA offers the 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score, which is available for more than 30 different types of buildings and plants. An ENERGY STAR score enables you to compare your facility’s actual energy performance to similar facilities nationwide. A score of 50 represents typical performance, while a score of 75 indicates that your facility performs better than 75 percent of all similar facilities nationwide.

Depending on the type of facility that’s being measured, you can find out your 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score through:

  • Portfolio Manager: EPA’s online energy management and tracking tool calculates 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR scores for eligible commercial and institutional buildings, such as K-12 schools, office buildings, and many others. Portfolio Manager also allows you to track improvements over time, compare similar buildings within a portfolio, generate reports, and quantify greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Target Finder: This tool is similar to Portfolio Manager, except it’s used to estimate performance. By entering the estimated energy use of a commercial building design or renovation project, you can project its future 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score.
  • Energy Performance Indicators (EPIs): Available for 11 different types of industrial or manufacturing plants, EPIs enable energy managers and corporate executives to evaluate the energy efficiency of their plants relative to others in their industry.  

ENERGY STAR certification

Through ENERGY STAR, the nation's most energy efficient buildings can earn ENERGY STAR certification. Since 1999, tens of thousands of buildings and plants across America -- such as schools, hospitals, skyscrapers, retails stores, and manufacturing plants -- have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance. On average, ENERGY STAR certified buildings use 35 percent less energy and cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than similar buildings.

Energy use in buildings and plants

Every building, from the smallest school to the tallest skyscraper, uses energy. This energy is mostly derived from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants. These emissions contribute to climate change. In fact, the buildings we see in our communities every day — offices, hospitals, schools, supermarkets, factories, and more — account for nearly half of all energy consumption in the United States at a cost of over $200 billion per year, more than any other sector of the economy.

Out of all that energy, often up to 30 percent or more is wasted through inefficiencies. Improving energy efficiency is the single largest way to eliminate this waste. Through ENERGY STAR, thousands of organizations nationwide are transforming the way they use energy every day.