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EPA Issues Energy Star Challenge: Make U.S. Buildings More Energy Efficient

Release Date: 03/14/2005
Contact Information:

John Millett, 202-564-7842 /

(Washington, D.C.-- 03/14/05) Today, EPA challenged commercial and institutional building owners to improve energy efficiency by 10 percent or more to conserve energy, save money and protect the environment. More than 20states, groups, and businesses joined EPA to issue the Energy Star Challenge, which calls on building owners to assess energy usage; set efficiency improvement goals of 10 percent or greater, and make cost-effective improvements. EPA also honored 13 Energy Star Leaders businesses, school districts, and healthcare institutions from across the country that have improved energy efficiency by implementing the Energy Star assessment and rating system.

"Improved energy efficiency provides one of the greatest opportunities for cost-effective reduction in pollution and greenhouse gases and improvement in energy security," said Jeff Holmstead, EPA assistant administrator of Air and Radiation. "Our Energy Star Leaders show that we're up to the challenge. With the Energy Star Challenge, we want to repeat and increase these successes at thousands of businesses and institutions across the country."

Commercial and institutional buildings use about $80 billion worth of energy each year and contribute about 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. EPA estimates that if each building owner met the challenge, in 10 years they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions from 15 million cars while saving about $10 billion each

EPA offers its national building energy performance rating system to support this challenge. This rating system has already been used to assess the energy efficiency of almost 20,000 buildings across the country.

EPA recognized 13 Energy Star "Leaders," businesses and institutions that are demonstrating that 10 percent improvement and more is within reach for organizations of all types and sizes. These companies, school districts and healthcare organizations have measured the energy efficiency of all their buildings and achieved energy efficiency improvements of approximately 10 or 20 percent, or achieved overall top performance.

The Energy Star Leaders include: Cambridge Savings Bank; Colorado Springs School District 11; Columbus Hospitality; Douglas, Emmett & Company; Food Lion, LLC; Giant Eagle, Inc.; Granite Properties; H-E-B Grocery Company; New York-Presbyterian Hospital; Rochester City School District (NY); South Colonie Central School District (NY); USAA Real Estate Company and The Vanguard Group.

The associations joining to issue the Energy Star Challenge include the following: American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA); American Society of Healthcare Engineers of the American Hospital Association (ASHE); Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO); Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA); Council of Educational Facility Planners, International (CEFPI); Food Marketing Institute (FMI); National Association of Counties (NACo); National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO);National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO); Public Technology Institute (PTI); Real Estate Roundtable; SACIA-The Business Council of Fairfield County, Connecticut; and US Telecomm Association (USTA). The states and state-based organizations include: California State Teachers Retirement Systems (CalSTRS); Delaware; Efficiency Vermont; Maine; New Hampshire; New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Ohio; Pennsylvania; and Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University.

For more information about Energy Star, visit or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).