— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) is sponsoring the first-ever national energy efficiency contest with 14 commercial buildings competing head-to-head, according to a press release
The building that reduces the most energy waste on a percentage basis will be declared the winner at EPA''s final weigh-in on October 26, 2010, the release stated.
Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for air and radiation at the EPA, said: "It''s time for buildings to tighten their belts and we''re happy to help them go on an energy diet. Cutting energy use will reduce their monthly expenses and their carbon footprint, showing that environmental protection and economic growth can go hand in hand."
According to the release, nearly 200 applications were received for the EPA''s National Building Competition and the 14 finalists will be judged on their energy performance from September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010.
The 14 buildings, whose energy usage is being monitored with EPA''s Energy Star
online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager
, are: The 522 Fifth Avenue Building; the 1525 Wilson Boulevard Building; Crystal River Elementary School; the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown; JCPenney Store 1778; the Maplewood Mall; the Memorial Arts Building at the Woodruff Arts Center; Morrison Residence Hall at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill; Sears; the Sheraton Austin Hotel; the Solon Family Health Center at the Cleveland Clinic; the Tucker Residence Hall at North Carolina State University; Van Holten Primary School; and the Virginia Beach Convention Center
, the release noted.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of total U.S.
greenhouse gas emissions and, on average, 30 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted, the release added.
To view profiles of the competing buildings, click here.