The Games Begin: Battle of the Buildings

July 21, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

EPA energy manageThe Environmental Protection Agency launched the 2014 Energy Star Battle of the Buildings: Team Challenge, with more than 5,500 buildings nationwide competing to save energy in commercial buildings.

This is the fifth year for the competition, but 2014 is the first year with the theme, “Team Challenge.” Teams of five or more buildings will work together to reduce their collective energy use as much as possible over the course of a year.

For example, Team Staples includes 17 Staples stores, while 15 Whole Foods stores will support each other as part of Team Whole Foods Market. In New Castle County, Del., 13 elementary schools will compete as part of a team, and they’re going up against their county’s five middle schools and six high schools.

Last year’s competitors saved an estimated $20 million on utility bills: nearly 50 buildings in the competition demonstrated energy use reductions of 20 percent or greater.

Competitors will measure and track their buildings’ monthly energy consumption using EPA’s online energy measurement and tracking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The team that reduces its buildings’ average energy use the most, on a percentage basis over a 12-month performance period, will be declared the winner. In addition to the team competition, 700 individual buildings are also competing in a special water reduction category, and will work with EPA’s WaterSense program to apply best practices for commercial building water management.

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