Did you know that a building or manufacturing plant can earn ENERGY STAR certification just like your refrigerator? An ENERGY STAR certified facility meets strict energy performance standards set by EPA and uses less energy, is less expensive to operate, and causes fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its peers. Energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption in the U.S. at a cost of over $200 billion per year, more than any other sector of the economy. Commercial and industrial facilities are also responsible for nearly half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.
For more than a decade, EPA has worked with businesses and organizations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through strategic energy management practices. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR, a building or manufacturing plant must earn a 75 or higher on EPA's 1-100 energy performance scale, indicating that the facility performs better than at least 75% of similar buildings nationwide. The ENERGY STAR energy performance scale accounts for differences in operating conditions, regional weather data, and other important considerations.
|Commercial Buildings||Manufacturing Plants|
|Bank branches||Auto assembly plants|
|Data centers||Container glass manufacturing|
|Dormitories||Cookie and cracker baking plants|
|Financial centers||Flat glass manufacturing|
|Hospitals||Frozen fried potato processing plants|
|House of worship||Petroleum refineries|
|K-12 schools||Pharmaceutical manufacturing plants|
|Medical offices||Pulp and paper plants|
|Offices||Wet corn mills|
Understanding the energy use of a building or plant is important--just as it's useful to know the estimated miles per gallon for your automobile. ENERGY STAR provides free tools and resources to help you measure the energy use of your facility and to compare your facility with other, similar facilities. For many types of commercial buildings, you can enter energy information into EPA's free online tool, Portfolio Manager, and it will calculate a score for your building on a scale of 1-100. Buildings that score a 75 or greater may qualify for the ENERGY STAR. In the industrial sector, plants awarded the ENERGY STAR must score within the top 25 percent of energy efficiency within their industry nationwide, based on a plant energy performance indicator (EPI).
It's easy: make a commitment to get there! EPA's Guidelines for Energy Management are a good place to start. They offer a proven strategy for superior energy management based on the successful practices of ENERGY STAR partners. The Guidelines for Energy Management can assist you with step-by-step improvements to energy and financial performance by helping your organization make a commitment, assess your building or plant's energy performance, set goals, create and implement an action plan, evaluate your progress, and recognize your achievements. EPA provides many other free Web-based tools including calculators, guidelines, and training modules to improve your facility's energy performance. By implementing many low- or no-cost solutions, your facility can reduce its energy use by up to 30 percent!
Commercial buildings achieving a score of 75 or higher using Portfolio Manager and verified by a professional engineer or registered architect are eligible to apply for the ENERGY STAR. To get started, enter the required data into Portfolio Manager. The tool will tell you if your building may qualify for the ENERGY STAR. If it does, your next step is to complete the verification process and submit your application. There is no cost to apply. Learn more about this process.
For manufacturing plants, energy managers input key plant operating data into a plant energy performance indicator (EPI) to receive an energy efficiency score on a scale of 1 to 100. Plants achieving a score of 75 or higher may be eligible for the ENERGY STAR. For those plants that are eligible, download the application forms from the ENERGY STAR website and submit them to EPA along with the necessary verifications. Learn more about this process.
Your organization benefits in three ways: First, you will know that you are doing your part to fight climate change by using less energy than your peers. Second, your bottom line benefits from increased energy savings. Third, you're showing the world that your organization is making a commitment to reduce its impact on the environment. You establish yourself as a leader doing what's right for the planet and for future generations. Research shows significant portions of our population prefer to work for or do business with organizations they perceive to be environmentally responsible.
Additionally, EPA is here to help you promote your achievement. Each year, EPA releases information to the press about buildings and manufacturing plants that have earned the prestigious ENERGY STAR, occasionally shining a media spotlight on certain buildings. Within the ENERGY STAR program, it is also possible to receive public recognition as an ENERGY STAR Partner or Leader, or to earn the coveted Partner of the Year Award.