Ten reasons to pursue ENERGY STAR certification

ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants are good for the environment and good for the bottom line. Read on for 10 compelling reasons why your organization should pursue America’s most trusted symbol of energy efficiency for your properties.

1. Lower operating costs

Once in operation, ENERGY STAR certified buildings use, on average, 35 percent less energy than similar buildings nationwide. The cost savings can be substantial. For example, ENERGY STAR certified office buildings cost $0.50 less per square foot to operate than their peers. Currently, ENERGY STAR certified buildings are saving $2.3 billion every year, or an average of nearly $140,000 per building.

2. More marketable

In an era when fears of “greenwashing” abound, cut through the clutter with ENERGY STAR, the most trusted environmental label in the United States. More than 85 percent of Americans recognize it when they see it. And ENERGY STAR is the only energy efficiency certification that is based on actual, verified energy performance, making your buildings all the more attractive to potential buyers and lessees who want guaranteed savings.

3. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Because ENERGY STAR certified buildings are verified to use 35 percent less energy, on average, than similar buildings, they can also be verified to contribute 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions to our atmosphere. By earning the ENERGY STAR, you’re joining the front lines in the fight against climate change.

4. Lease to federal tenants

If you want to lease your space to a federal tenant, your buildings must be ENERGY STAR certified. (Executive Order 13514 mandates that Federal Agencies may only lease space in ENERGY STAR certified buildings.)

5. Higher rental rates

According to a CoStar Group study1,  rental rates in ENERGY STAR certified buildings are $2.40 per square foot higher than similar buildings. The same CoStar Group study found occupancy rates to be 3.6 percent higher in ENERGY STAR certified buildings when compared to similar buildings.

6. Increased asset value

Reliably persistent energy performance makes it more likely that the higher net operating income from energy cost savings will be recognized through higher building valuation. Experienced managers of large portfolios of ENERGY STAR certified buildings interviewed for one study2 confirm that ENERGY STAR helps increase building value.

7. Manage risk when developing properties

Are you developing commercial real estate? Achieving Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR for your building designs can help mitigate risks to profitability by validating assumptions made during the development appraisal, such as operating costs, rents, asset value, and occupancy. Additionally, some jurisdictions allow expedited permitting, review, processing, and inspections to projects that have been designed to earn the ENERGY STAR. 

8. Hedge against future mandates

Numerous cities and states have passed legislation containing energy efficiency mandates for commercial new construction projects and existing buildings. The vast majority of them incorporate ENERGY STAR and Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR. The trend is growing every year as more and more cities and states look for ways to reduce costs and emissions. By earning the ENERGY STAR now, you’re in a better position to respond to any future laws or mandates that come your way. See the list of legislation and campaigns leveraging ENERGY STAR.

9. No cost

All of EPA’s tools and resources, including Portfolio Manager and Target Finder, are free to use. So you can spend your budget on finding other ways to save, rather than on a third-party program.

10. It’s just the right thing to do

Americans are big believers in doing the right thing, and they expect the same of the professionals in their communities. Sixty-eight percent of adults like to do business with companies that are environmentally responsible3.  More than 80 percent of workers are attracted by an employer with an environmental reputation. And about half of workers said they would forgo higher pay or a promotion to work for an organization with a good reputation4.


1Does Green Pay Off? July 12, 2008

2Summary of the financial benefits of ENERGY STAR labeled office buildings, 2006

32007 National Technology Readiness Survey

42009 Kelly Global Workforce Index