EPA Announces Energy Efficiency Program for New England Building Owners

EPA Announces Energy Efficiency Program for New England Building Owners

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England Office has announced an initiative to evaluate and improve the energy efficiency in hundreds of commercial and public buildings across the region over the next year.

The campaign aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent over the next eight years. EPA has evaluated the energy performance of a half-dozen public buildings in Burlington as part of that effort, including one top-performing building -- the U.S. Post Office and Custom House in St. Albans -- that was honored recentl with an Energy Star label.

"Reducing our energy use has a host of benefits, including less smog, haze and mercury pollution from power plants, reduced carbon dioxide emissions, reduced reliance on imported oil and lower operating costs," said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "That's why we're encouraging building mangers in New England to evaluate their energy performance and identify areas where they can make improvements. Our goal is to see 300 additional buildings in New England benchmarked for their energy performance over the next year."

Under the program, building owners and managers can use free, web-based tools to measure their building's performance relative to comparable buildings, get information on efficiency improvements, and track their progress. Top performers are eligible for recognition with EPA's Energy Star label for their building. The hundreds of New England businesses and organizations participating in the Energy Star program have already saved $1.9 billion on their heating and electric bills through efficiency improvements.

The Portfolio Manager is EPA's on-line tool that allows building managers to quickly and easily track their energy use. It also provides a 1-to-100 rating of energy use (compared to similar buildings) for office buildings, grocery stores, hotels, K-12 schools, and hospitals, with more categories expected to be added soon. Buildings scoring above 75 are eligible for the Energy Star label if they meet industry standards for comfort and indoor air quality and have their performance verified to EPA. The Portfolio Manager tool is available at from the Energy Star Web site.