Businesses embrace ENERGY STAR for the same reasons that consumers do: it’s a widely recognized symbol of energy efficiency, translating technical details into simple, credible, and actionable information. ENERGY STAR tools and resources help businesses determine the most cost-effective approach to managing energy use in their buildings and plants—enabling the private sector to save energy, increase profits, and boost competitiveness. Thousands of diverse organizations across the nation—from Fortune 100® companies and major league sports teams to school districts and small businesses— have partnered with EPA to improve their facilities’ energy performance.
Portfolio Manager and the 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score
Commercial buildings have embraced EPA’s energy measurement and tracking tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. In fact, in 2019 alone more than 260,000 commercial properties used EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool to measure and track their energy use, water use, and/or waste and materials. These buildings comprise nearly 24 billion square feet of floorspace—nearly a quarter of all the commercial floorspace in the nation. Owners of commercial buildings and industrial plants have also adopted EPA’s 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score as the industry standard for measuring energy performance. Over the past five years, the number of buildings actively using Portfolio Manager to benchmark their energy performance increased by more than 30% and the amount of commercial building square footage actively benchmarked grew by more than 40%.
The value of ENERGY STAR certification for buildings
In 2019, EPA updated its ENERGY STAR scoring models to make them more stringent and reflective of the current market. Under these new criteria, more than 5,700 buildings earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification in 2019, bringing the total to more than 36,000. Buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR use, on average, 35% less energy than their peers. For commercial real estate, ENERGY STAR is a market differentiator. Real estate companies use EPA’s 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score to demonstrate their sustainability to investors through reporting frameworks such as the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). Multifamily property owners use it to access discounted financing through products offered by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 2018, the ENERGY STAR program for commercial buildings helped businesses and organizations save 190 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid $12 billion in energy costs, and achieve 140 million metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.
Spotlight on: state and local benchmarking initiatives
As of the end of 2019, 32 local governments, three states, and one Canadian province rely on EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool as the foundation for their building energy benchmarking requirements, creating uniformity for businesses and reducing transaction and implementation costs. Combined, these requirements apply to over 100,000 buildings, representing over 10 billion square feet.
Additional local governments and states have required ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager in the benchmarking of their own facilities. Learn more.
Spotlight on: St. Joseph Medical Center
EPA has new resources to help buildings uncover quick energy savings through energy treasure hunts. EPA launched a new ENERGY STAR Treasure Hunt campaign in 2019, asking organizations to conduct treasure hunts and fill the chest with savings. Using EPA’s guidebook, checklists, calculators, and other tools, energy teams spend 1-2 days inside their building hunting for treasure (in the form of preventable energy waste).
OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, Illinois, embarked on an “ENERGY STAR Treasure Hunt” to discover potential energy savings within their hospital. Assisting in the effort were veteran treasure hunters from Bristol-Myers Squibb, an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award winner, who helped to train the St. Joseph’s energy managers and conduct the treasure hunt. In the end, the team discovered more than $200,000 in potential energy savings. Paul Pederson, the hospital’s chief medical officer, noted that it would take a million dollars of revenue to earn an equal amount of profit.
For additional details about ENERGY STAR achievements see ENERGY STAR By the Numbers. For ENERGY STAR facts and figures broken down geographically by state, see ENERGY STAR State Fact Sheets. For achievements by ENERGY STAR Award Winners, see the ENERGY STAR Award Winners Page.