Top 8 Reasons to Pursue ENERGY STAR Certification

When we talk about the value of ENERGY STAR certification, there’s the value of having a top performing building, and then there’s the value of that little blue label. Let’s break it down.

The Value of a Top-Performing Building

ENERGY STAR certified buildings have lower utility bills

Once in operation, ENERGY STAR certified buildings use, on average, 35 percent less energy than similar buildings nationwide. The cost savings can be substantial. For example, ENERGY STAR certified office buildings cost $0.50 less per square foot to operate than their peers. 

ENERGY STAR certified buildings generate 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions

Because they use less energy, ENERGY STAR certified buildings also contribute, on average, 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions to our atmosphere. By earning the ENERGY STAR, you’re joining the front lines in the fight against climate change.

ENERGY STAR certified buildings are well positioned to respond to benchmarking and performance mandates

Dozens of cities and states now mandate that commercial buildings benchmark and publicly disclose their energy performance. The trend is growing every year as more and more cities and states look for ways to reduce costs and emissions. By earning the ENERGY STAR now, you’re in a better position to respond to any future laws or mandates that come your way. See the list of legislation and campaigns leveraging ENERGY STAR.

The Value of the Blue ENERGY STAR Label

ENERGY STAR certified buildings are worth more

Energy cost savings lead to higher net operating income. Reliable, persistent energy savings make it more likely that this connection will be recognized with a higher building valuation. Numerous studies demonstrate a sale price premium from 1% - 31% among energy-efficient buildings.1 2

ENERGY STAR certified buildings have higher occupancy rates and command higher rents

ENERGY STAR certified buildings have fewer vacancies and higher rents when compared to similar buildings. In fact, numerous studies demonstrate occupancy levels up to 10% higher and rental premiums 3% to 16% higher.3 4

Federal tenants can only lease space in ENERGY STAR certified buildings

If you want to lease your space to a federal tenant, your buildings must be ENERGY STAR certified. (Executive Order 13514 mandates that Federal Agencies may only lease space in ENERGY STAR certified buildings.)

ENERGY STAR certified buildings get better financing terms

Several studies on commercial mortgages find evidence of lower default risk among buildings with labels such as ENERGY STAR. 5  As a result, these properties often secure better loan terms (longer interest-only periods) and lower interest rates (typically about 30 - 35 basis points) than similar non-labeled buildings.

90% of Gen Z believe companies must act to help social and environmental issues

People prefer to work for organizations whose values match their own. According to a 2019 CONE Communications study, 90% of Gen Z believe companies must act to help social and environmental issues and 75% will do research to see if a company is being honest when it takes a stand on issues.

There’s no cost*

All of EPA’s tools and resources, including Portfolio Manager and Target Finder, are free to use. That means you can spend your budget on an energy efficiency program, rather than on a third-party certification program. *Applications for ENERGY STAR certification must be verified by a professional engineer or registered architect. These fees average around $1,500 per building, although we have some tips for lowering these costs.