ENERGY STAR for Commercial Buildings

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 2021 alone more than 280,000 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 27 billion square feet of floorspace—more than 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%, while the amount of commercial building square footage actively benchmarked grew by more than 40% over that same time.

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The value of ENERGY STAR certification for buildings

In 2021 more than 6,000 buildings earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification, bringing the total to over 39,000. 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.

Program savings

In 2020, the ENERGY STAR program for commercial buildings helped businesses and organizations save 250 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid $16 billion in energy costs, and achieve 180 million metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.

Spotlight on: state and local benchmarking and building performance standards

As of the end of 2021, 39 local governments, four 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 125,000 buildings, representing over 15 billion square feet. In addition, ENERGY STAR is helping several jurisdictions design and implement building performance standards aimed at achieving significant GHG and energy reductions. EPA published a white paper that presents the many metrics options and offers analysis and guidance on the choice of metrics. Learn more.

Spotlight on: ENERGY STAR Tenant Space and Samsung

EPA launched ENERGY STAR Tenant Space in 2020, offering tenants an opportunity to earn recognition for energy efficient office spaces. This recognition requires that tenants meet energy efficient design criteria and provides the opportunity for tenant-landlord collaboration around energy efficiency, leading to more efficient tenant spaces and whole buildings.

Samsung Electronics was one of the first tenants to earn ENERGY STAR Tenant Space recognition for its office at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE in Washington, DC, and continues to pursue recognition for its offices across the country, totaling six spaces through 2021 with plans to expand. Samsung believes that achieving recognition helps to drive awareness of ENERGY STAR among its employees and the importance of Samsung’s continued energy-efficiency efforts through its products and operations.

For additional details about ENERGY STAR achievements see ENERGY STAR Impacts. 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.