Featured research and reports


EPA publishes the following research and reports to support the business case for benchmarking and improving energy efficiency: Data Trends

  • Portfolio Manager Data Trends Buildings that consistently benchmark energy use save an average of 2.4 percent per year. These findings from EPA’s Data Trends series are based on data from more than 35,000 buildings that benchmarked regularly from 2008 – 2011. The series also presents general trends in energy and water benchmarking, as well as an in-depth look at the benchmarking data for several types of buildings.
  • ENERGY STAR Snapshot This at-a-glance summary of program activity will answer all of your questions about benchmarking and EPA recognition. Updated twice a year, the snapshot provides a summary of the program’s key performance indicators, such as number and types of buildings benchmarking, trends in energy use benchmarking, state-by-state activity, and much more.  
  • Energy Strategy for the Future  Executives from 20 leading companies got together to discuss what the U.S. energy environment could look like through the year 2020. Together, they developed four possible scenarios and considered the business implications of each. They also came up with strategic steps you should take to better prepare for an uncertain energy future.

Third-party reports

Research shows that ENERGY STAR is making an impact. ENERGY STAR certified buildings have higher occupancy rates, rental rates, and selling prices. Plus, they’re in demand. And ENERGY STAR has helped shift the energy use curve in three industries.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here is just a sampling of the academic and corporate research that proves the value of ENERGY STAR certification.

  • Measuring Improvement in the Energy Performance of the U.S. Corn Refining Industry (2012). The U.S corn industry reduced its overall energy use by 4.3 percent over a 12-year period with help from ENERGY STAR. According to this Duke University study, this reduction saved 6.7 trillion Btu in annual energy use and prevented the emissions of 470 million kg of energy-related carbon emissions annually.
  • The Economics of Green Building (2011). The recent economic downtown and growing number of green buildings haven’t significantly hurt the financial performance of ENERGY STAR or LEED certified buildings. This Maastricht University/ UC Berkeley study also found that, among ENERGY STAR certified buildings, saving $1.00 in energy costs is associated with gaining a 4.9 percent premium in market valuation, or an average increase in transaction price of $13 per square foot.
  • Green Noise or Green Value? Measuring the Effects of Environmental Certification on Office Values (2011). ENERGY STAR certified buildings net an average rental premium of 4 percent and sale price premium of 26 percent. These and similar findings from Franz Fuerst and Patrick McAllister at the University of Reading’s Henley School of Business lead the researchers to conclude that green buildings command rental and sale price premiums.
  • Measuring Improvement in the Energy Performance of the U.S. Cement Industry (2011). Over a 10-year period, the U.S. cement industry’s energy intensity improved 13 percent, with the energy performance of the industry’s least efficient plants changing most dramatically. Researchers at Duke University also examined the strategies that the industry pursued with ENERGY STAR during this time.
  • CoreNet Global/Jones Lang LaSalle Sustainability survey (2010). Most corporate real estate executives (92 percent) consider sustainability when choosing where to lease space, and half say they’re willing to pay more for green leased space. How much more? According to the survey, 48 percent of occupiers are willing to pay as much as a 10 percent premium for sustainable space.
  • Assessing Improvement in the Energy Efficiency of the U.S. Auto Assembly Plants (2010). Duke University's Gale Boyd reviewed EPA’s work with industry through ENERGY STAR and evaluated the improvement of energy efficiency in U.S. auto assembly plants. She finds that over a 5-year period, fossil fuel use decreased by 12 percent, the gap between top performing plants and others closed while the performance of the industry as a whole improved, and environmental savings were more than 700,000 metric tons of energy-related carbon.

See all research and reports in the tools and resources library.