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New ENERGY STAR Partner Success Stories: Kohl's Department Stores and Staples, Inc.

photo of the front of a Kohl'sInterested in learning about how two ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year winners have reduced energy consumption, saved money, and demonstrated the value of energy efficiency to key stakeholders? Visit ENERGY STAR for Retail to read two new success stories highlighting the accomplishments of Kohl's Department Stores PDF (133KB) and Staples, Inc. PDF (85KB).

Kohl's, a value-oriented specialty department store with more than 1,000 locations in 49 states, has earned an unprecedented number of ENERGY STAR certifications for its high-performing stores. More than 50 percent of the company's store portfolio scores a 75 or higher on the one to 100 ENERGY STAR performance scale, indicating these buildings (more than 600 in all) perform in the top 25% of their peers in the retail market.

photo of the front of a StaplesStaples, the world's largest office products company, was one of the first retail companies to benchmark its entire portfolio of over 1,500 retail stores and 200 distribution centers in Portfolio Manager, and was also the first retailer to earn ENERGY STAR Leaders recognition. Staples reduced energy use portfolio-wide by over 11% in three years, while increasing its portfolio average energy performance score from 47 to 61.

Dollar General Benchmarks the Largest Portfolio in ENERGY STAR History

Dollar GeneralCongratulations to ENERGY STAR retail partner Dollar General for uploading an impressively large number of retail stores into EPA's ENERGY STAR measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. With approximately 9,000 buildings in Portfolio Manager, Dollar General's portfolio is now the largest of any company that is currently benchmarking in the tool. The company has indicated that their next step will be to use their energy performance scores and other information from Portfolio Manager to focus on improvements to their buildings.  If you are benchmarking (or thinking about benchmarking) a large portfolio, consider signing up for automated benchmarking services, offered by over 35 active providers. ENERGY STAR also offers alternative methods for uploading and updating groups of more than 10 buildings. View a short animated training on Bulk Data Management, which demonstrates how to benchmark portfolios using bulk data import templates and multi-facility meter update features in Portfolio Manager.

Guidance for Benchmarking Restaurants Now Available on ENERGY STAR Website

Restaurant owners and operators interested in benchmarking their energy performance now have a new resource available to them to aid in the benchmarking process. The new handout, Benchmark Your Restaurant Using EPA's Portfolio Manager PDF (216KB), provides step-by-step guidance on benchmarking a restaurant, and also includes screenshots of the process in Portfolio Manager. Visit ENERGY STAR for Restaurants to access this guidance as well as other useful restaurant-specific resources, including the recently updated ENERGY STAR Guide for Restaurants PDF (1.14MB), which includes five easy tips to save energy and water, an overview of energy efficiency in a restaurant, and in-depth information on the selection and operation of commercial food service equipment.

EPA's National Building Competition Reaches the Last Leg!

Battle of the Buildings logoThe 2011 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings has progressed steadily as 245 buildings across the country industriously work to curb their energy use. In July, EPA announced the top category contenders as of the midpoint. In early November, you'll see which buildings came out on top overall, as well as the cumulative impact of all competitors. In case you missed it, below is a list of the top category contenders as of the midpoint:

Bank: USE Credit Union: San Diego, Calif. 20%
Courthouse: Hammond U.S. Courthouse: Hammond, Ind. 14%
Dormitory: Kenan Residence Hall at UNC: Chapel Hill, N.C. 3%
Hospital: St Mark's Medical Center: La Grange, Texas 10%
Hotel: The Colonnade Hotel: Boston, Mass. 2%
House of Worship: First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis: Minneapolis, Minn. 14%
Office: Scientific Instruments: West Palm Beach, Fla. 30%
K-12 School: Jackson Creek Middle School: Bloomington, Ind. 26%
Medical Office: North Suburban Medical Office Building: Thornton, Colo. 18%
Retail: Office Depot: Plano, Texas 17%
Warehouse: Norandex: Rochester, N.Y. 8%
Other: University of Central Florida's Garage C: Orlando, Fla. 31%

In the first six months of the competition alone, teams representing 245 buildings around the country have saved more than $3.7 million on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by 2,300 homes annually. Competitors measure and track their building's monthly energy consumption using EPA's ENERGY STAR online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. The building with the largest percentage reduction in energy use, adjusted for weather and the size of the building, will be recognized as the winner in November.

Visit to learn more about the competitors, get real-time updates via a live Twitter feed, and join in on a Facebook forum to exchange ideas and strategies.

Important Policy Change for ENERGY STAR Certification

EPA is adopting a policy that will change the year associated with your ENERGY STAR certification.  Currently, the certification year is based on the 12-month period ending date listed on your Statement of Energy Performance (SEP).  However, for all label applications approved on or after January 1, 2012, the year of your certification will reflect the year during which your application for ENERGY STAR certification is approved, regardless of the SEP period ending date. The purpose of this change is to align the year of your certification with the calendar year in which it was approved.  This change will make it easier for you and EPA to communicate and celebrate your award with the public.  

Important Information for Those Who Have Not Yet Applied for 2011 Certification
If you received a 2010 certification with an SEP dated in the last four months of 2010, please take note: In order for you to earn a 2011 award, your application must be approved by December 31, 2011.  EPA will guarantee 2011 approval for all applications that are postmarked by November 15, 2011 or earlier and which require no additional questions or follow-up by EPA. Since, typically, your building might not have been eligible to apply by this deadline, EPA has manually reset your building's account to be eligible as of August 31, 2011.

Important Information for Everyone Eligible for ENERGY STAR Certification
In future years, to ensure that your building earns certification for the current year, you must postmark your application by November 15. As long as your application does not trigger any follow-up or additional questions, EPA will guarantee current-year approval, which means that your building will receive current-year certification.


Perspectives: Partner Highlight

Rite Aid

Rite Aid, one of the nation's leading drugstore chains, believes that energy efficiency is a fiscally sound corporate investment and a conscientious business, social, community and global decision. The company has been an ENERGY STAR partner for about ten years, and has benchmarked all of its stores in Portfolio Manager. Recently, three Rite Aid stores in New England earned the ENERGY STAR certification, including buildings in Enfield, CT, Merrimack, NH, and Cranston, RI, according to a press release Exit ENERGY STAR by the company. Each of these stores improved its efficiency by approximately 25 percent after undergoing an "energy-reducing overhaul," involving upgrades to lighting, HVAC systems, and energy management systems. Rite Aid has also replaced fluorescent bulbs in freezers and coolers with LED lighting, installed fan sensors to reduce the run-time of store fans, and reprogrammed store light timing to save energy during off-hours. Rite Aid currently has five ENERGY STAR certified properties, including the first ENERGY STAR certified drug store, which is located in Harrisburg, PA.

Perspectives: Statistics

Did you know? If America's commercial and industrial buildings improved their energy use by just 10 percent, we could prevent the greenhouse gas emissions equal to all the automobiles in Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Texas combined!

featured photo

Staples customers are greeted with this table promoting the company's distinction as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award winner. In-store signage like this helps to raise awareness of Staples' efforts and build customer loyalty.

We'd love to see photos of your ENERGY STAR certified buildings, your staff participating in ENERGY STAR or other sustainability events, or your efforts to promote the ENERGY STAR program. Submit a photo of your efforts and you may be featured in our next newsletter!

industry news

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Spotlight on Staples: A Company Ahead of Its Time Exit ENERGY STAR

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Leveraging the ENERGY STAR Program: Communicating Successes Exit ENERGY STAR

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