An overview of the ENERGY STAR lifecycle

Designed to the Earn the ENERGY STAR recognition is awarded to commercial building designs. ENERGY STAR certification is awarded to fully operational existing buildings that have been collecting utility bills for at least 12 months. Together, these two types of recognition make up the ENERGY STAR lifecycle and are necessary to fully deliver the potential financial and environmental benefits of designing and operating an energy-efficient building.

ENERGY STAR from start to finish.

  1. First, a team sets an energy performance target for a new building.
  2. Next, architecture/engineering (A/E) firms use EPA’s Target Finder or Portfolio Manager tools to evaluate this target and calculate the energy use that will be required of the building. Many buildings will also receive a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score, which compares its anticipated energy performance to similar buildings nationwide. It also normalizes for weather, building characteristics, and business activity, giving you the most realistic picture of your building’s relative energy performance available.
  3. A/E firms design the building, ensuring that the design stays consistent with the energy performance target and energy use goals.
  4. Once the design achieves an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, the architect of record applies for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR recognition within Portfolio Manager.
  5. Once approved, the property owner can use the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR mark on signage and in marketing materials for the specific project.

Logo for the 'Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR' certification.

  1. The building is built. Occupants move in. The building gets commissioned.
  2. Over the next 12 months, the building’s facility manager enters utility bill data into Portfolio Manager. If the building is built to the energy specifications recommended by EPA, and the facility manager operates it properly, it should earn a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score that matches the design’s score.
  3. If the building gets an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, the facility manager applies for ENERGY STAR certification within Portfolio Manager.
  4. Once approved, the owner and manager can use the ENERGY STAR certification mark on their building, on signage, and in marketing materials. And they can rest easy knowing that their building is performing among the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide.

Logo for the 'ENERGY STAR' certification.

Get started today by designing your new building to earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR!