About ENERGY STAR for commercial and industrial buildings

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that delivers environmental benefits and financial value through superior energy efficiency. Through ENERGY STAR, EPA partners with businesses and public-sector organizations to transform the way that commercial buildings and industrial plants use energy. Over more than 20 years, the ENERGY STAR Program for Commercial Buildings and Industrial Plants has helped these organizations save more than $192 billion in energy costs.1

Today, thousands of facility owners and managers—including 60 percent of the FORTUNE 100—use ENERGY STAR tools and resources to help them assess their energy performance, improve their efficiency, and earn recognition.

Why focus on buildings & plants?

Commercial buildings and industrial plants are responsible for nearly half of the nation’s energy use and nearly half of its greenhouse gas emissions. Much of this energy is wasted through inefficiencies, but by adopting a strategic energy management approach through ENERGY STAR, it is possible to save energy, save money, and protect the environment.

Partners

Thousands of organizations have partnered with EPA and ENERGY STAR to make their properties more energy efficient, including 15 of the 20 largest school districts, eight of the ten largest healthcare organizations, state and local governments, small businesses, and large corporations such as Target, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Food Lion, General Motors, Jones Lang LaSalle, and Staples, just to name a few. Learn more about partnership.

Portfolio Manager and energy benchmarking

EPA’s free online ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® tool is the industry standard for measuring and tracking energy performance within commercial buildings. In fact, the commercial buildings market has used Portfolio Manager to benchmark billions of square feet of commercial floor space across hundreds of thousands of buildings. The tool provides dozens of energy performance metrics, and some buildings can also receive a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score, which rates energy performance in comparison to similar buildings across the country.  Learn more about benchmarking.

ENERGY STAR certification

Tens of thousands of buildings and plants have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR since 1999. That means they’ve been verified to perform among the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide. On average, ENERGY STAR certified buildings use 35 percent less energy and generate 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers. Learn more about ENERGY STAR certification.

Numerous independent studies have shown that ENERGY STAR certified buildings have lower operating costs, command higher rental rates, and have increased asset value. Learn more about the financial value of ENERGY STAR.

The role of ENERGY STAR in the market

ENERGY STAR is a voluntary EPA program that provides tools and resources to businesses and organizations that want to strategically manage their energy use. Over time, various third-party programs have found ways to leverage ENERGY STAR. For examples, dozens of state and local governments rely on Portfolio Manager and the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for their benchmarking laws. The Federal government requires agencies to lease space in ENERGY STAR certified buildings. More than 200 utilities and energy services companies have invested in tools that can upload utility bill data to—and download performance metrics from—Portfolio Manager. And Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD offer various green financing options for ENERGY STAR certified properties.

1 Estimated energy cost savings represent the present value of net energy cost savings, calculated by taking the difference between total energy bill savings and the incremental additional investment in energy-efficient technologies and services.

Energy use in buildings and plants

Every building, from the smallest school to the tallest skyscraper, uses energy. This energy is mostly derived from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants. These emissions contribute to climate change. In fact, the buildings we see in our communities every day — offices, hospitals, schools, supermarkets, factories, and more — account for nearly half of all energy consumption in the United States at a cost of over $200 billion per year, more than any other sector of the economy.

Out of all that energy, often up to 30 percent or more is wasted through inefficiencies. Improving energy efficiency is the single largest way to eliminate this waste. Through ENERGY STAR, thousands of organizations nationwide are transforming the way they use energy every day.