You are probably familiar with Energy Star, or at least the logo, from appliances. You may have seen the logo on your refrigerator, dishwasher or a light bulb. Buildings can also be energy star certified and a few years ago, Energy Star scores in Philadelphia became increasingly important.
In 2012, Philadelphia’s City Council passed a bill that required commercial and mixed-use buildings of 50,000 SF or more to disclose energy and water usage data starting June 1, 2013. There was also a requirement that buildings must be Energy Star certified, meaning they must have an energy star score of 75 or higher. The bill encouraged (not required) owners to make information public. Since the bill was passed in June of 2012, building Energy Star scores in Philadelphia have become a much greater focus.
The Energy Star scoring system is a 1-100 scale and measures energy consumption on buildings nationwide. A score of 75 indicates that a building’s energy performance is better than 75% of buildings across the country and that the building is eligible for certification. The score assesses how a building is performing as a whole: assets, operations and how occupants use the building. Energy Star’s purpose is to understand and score how your building actually functions from an energy standpoint, rather than how it was designed to function.
In 2016, Philadelphia ranks 12th in cities with the most Energy Star certified buildings. Philadelphia has 156 buildings and saves approximately $33 million per year in energy consumption.
The Energy Start program was established by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 under the authority of the Clean Air Act. Energy Star is a voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through enhanced energy efficiency. Energy Star’s call to action is to “conduct a basic engineering research and technology program to develop, evaluate and demonstrate non-regulatory strategies and technologies for reducing air pollution.”
For more information on the Energy Star program, click here.