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Associated Renewable
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What Can the ENERGY STAR Do for Your Buildings?

By: Jing Chu

Published: October 23, 2012


Since the Energy Star Certification Program's inception in 1999, Energy Star® certified buildings saved over $866 million in energy costs in 25 cities and prevented greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent of over 543,000 average homes. In addition to demonstrating a commitment to energy efficiency, Energy Star certification also provides significant financial benefit to property owners.

What is Energy Star Certification?

Similar to Energy Star ratings for domestic appliances and electronics, the US EPA awards Energy Star Certification to owners of buildings that are in the top 25% of the most energy efficiency buildings. Energy Star certification aims to acknowledge the efforts of property owners who have optimized energy use in their buildings.

Requirements for Energy Star Certification

Energy Star Certification requires that a building’s energy use on a per square foot basis ranks in the 75th percentile or higher compared with all similar buildings nationwide based on 12 consecutive months of utility data. It also requires verification of all data by a professional engineer or registered architect. In addition, the building must conform to current industry standards for thermal comfort, air ventilation, control of indoor air pollutants and illumination.

These are some benefits of Energy Star Certification

Direct energy savings.  As a part of the Energy Star certification process, building owners can identify opportunities to cost-effectively reduce waste and achieve significant energy savings, resulting in lower energy bills.

Persistence of energy performance and savings.  Buildings with Energy Star labels perform consistently better than non-labeled buildings. Research shows that buildings earned the energy star certification in six consecutive years used 20% less energy per square foot in the sixth year than in the first year of certification, compared to average buildings. Energy Star certification requires an awareness of energy use that allows consumption to be managed effectively.

Higher occupancy.  Multiple studies have shown that energy efficiency buildings enjoy both higher rents and higher occupancy. Buildings with Energy Star certification also tend to have advanced EMCS (energy management and control systems), which play an important role in occupant comfort and attitude. Increased tenant satisfaction can result in higher occupancy and greater profitability.

Better operations and maintenance.  Buildings with Energy Star certification are better managed, operated and maintained.

Exemption from NYC Local Law 87.  Buildings with Energy Star certification can be exempted from New York City’s Local Law 87 energy auditing and retro-commissioning requirement. Energy Star certification must be received for 2 of the 3 years immediately prior to the audit due date.

Hedge against price fluctuations.  Less energy consumption reduces susceptibility to volatile energy prices, which can pose a significant financial risk.

Attribute value to the recognition of the building.  Buildings with Energy Star labels signal to their tenants and investors that they have capitalized on extraordinary opportunities to make their buildings environmentally and fiscally sound.


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