In partnership with several states and utilities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new pilot program designed to further improve commercial building energy efficiency, reports Sustainable Facility.
Building Performance with Energy Star will help utilities and state energy efficiency programs achieve increased energy savings and fight climate change by strategically pursuing whole building energy improvements with their business customers.
The pilot program is being launched with Energy Star partners Com Ed, MidAmerican, National Grid, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and Wisconsin Focus on Energy.
Modeled after the successful Home Performance with Energy Star program, Building Performance with Energy Star will provide a framework for regional energy efficiency programs to align their financial incentives and technical assistance with a comprehensive approach to building upgrades.
Building Performance with Energy Star includes several key elements to help states and utilities promote an inclusive strategy for improving energy efficiency. These elements include measuring energy use with EPA’s online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, to score building performance; approaching energy efficiency opportunities in light of findings from whole building assessments; and creating a robust delivery network for whole building efficiency services.
Utilities and states that partner with EPA will use Building Performance with Energy Star to help business customers strategically plan and implement energy efficiency improvements over time – e.g., starting with low-payback measures that can create revenue to fund capital upgrades in the future. Building Performance with Energy Star can also be used to help customers identify buildings with the most opportunities for improvement and prioritize technical assistance and incentives for projects that will deliver the largest energy savings.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of over $100 billion per year. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with the Energy Star program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere each year.
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