Sponsors Guide to ENERGY STAR for Commercial Programs

Leverage ENERGY STAR tools and resources for buildings and plants to promote whole-building energy performance improvements within your program portfolio.

Building on the practices of leading energy efficiency program sponsors and the EPA ENERGY STAR partnership, this guide describes the core program elements of a successful building performance program.

See how ENERGY STAR can help you!

A market segmentation approach is used to target resources at high opportunity sectors and customize programs to meet the needs of each sector.

Sponsors Guide marketing

EEPS benchmarkingBenchmarking with EPA's energy performance scale allows program sponsors and customers to assess building energy performance and track savings over time. Program sponsors can:

Engaging customers using a strategic energy management framework helps program sponsors build strong, on-going relationships and realize the benefits of having customers repeatedly participate in efficiency programs. Strategic Energy Management / Customer Action PlansCustomer Action Plans are used to set goals, prioritize opportunities, and establish management practices. Program sponsors find customer Action Plans to be a useful mechanism for promoting continuous improvement.

An integrated approach to improving building performance incorporates capital upgrades, operations and maintenance measures, and behavioral change. Whole-building performance assessmentBy conducting a whole-building performance assessment, program sponsors can identify savings from interactions between building systems, and achieve savings that simple equipment replacements may fail to capture.

  • Maximize energy savings by sequentially following the five building upgrade stages recommended in the Building Upgrade Manual for commercial buildings.
  • Leverage ENERGY STAR Service and Product Provider partners as trade allies in outreach and implementation of your C&I programs.

Aligning program implementation strategies with an integrated approach to building performance can encourage deeper energy savings. Whole-building upgradesProgram sponsors can stimulate customer demand for whole-building upgrades through financial and other incentive strategies, and can partner with trade allies to encourage the delivery of comprehensive services. Incentives can be complemented and reinforced by ENERGY STAR public recognition.

  • Offer customers and/or trade allies performance incentives that are based on a target percent energy savings, an improvement in a facility's ENERGY STAR score, or earning the ENERGY STAR.  
  • Search the list of most active ENERGY STAR Service and Product Providers to identify and partner with trade allies that promote comprehensive energy management upgrades.
  • Refer customers to ENERGY STAR resources for the Licensed Professional (Professional Engineer and Registered Architects) verification required before the award of the ENERGY STAR to certified buildings, including the Licensed Professional Directory, the Licensed Professional's Guide.
  • Provide incentives that pay for all or part of the cost of the Licensed Professional verification, such as a subsidy for the certification process as found in Consumers Energy’s pilot program (PDF, 509 KB).
  • Publicize the success of program participants that have earned the ENERGY STAR.

Re-benchmarking allows both customers and program sponsors to monitor savings, and evaluate the success of energy management efforts.Performance Monitoring and verification