Why Label Your Buildings with ENERGY STAR?

Alison Liaboe

The whitepaper “A Big Data Look at Energy” that Ecova recently published revealed some startling energy figures from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The U.S. DOE estimates that commercial facilities account for 36% of all U.S. electricity consumption and that they are responsible for 18% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. Compounding that, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. WASTED.

So if 30% of the energy is wasted, that means that not only is this wasted energy harming the environment through the generation of CO2 greenhouse gases, but money spent on purchasing this wasted energy is essentially being thrown away. With more energy controls in your business, you could be saving that money.


The ENERGY STAR label is a result of analysis done on a building’s energy consumption relative to its profile. These buildings are given a rating of between 0-100. A favorable analysis will result in a high rating. An unfavorable analysis will result in a low rating. Buildings rated 75 or higher are very energy efficient (the least wasteful buildings) and eligible to apply for an ENERGY STAR label.

Buildings rated lower (anything below 50 is considered low) have many opportunities for improving their energy efficiency. These opportunities could include installing new, energy efficient light bulbs or modifying standards for lighting on/off times and HVAC temperature set points. Implementing these measures will reduce the amount of energy wasted and provide a more favorable rating as the building’s performance improves compared to its peers.


But why does an ENERGY STAR label matter? Couldn’t you complete these energy efficiency measures, begin saving money and energy and call it good?  Why should you go to the extra time and expense of applying for the label? In a word―revenue. ENERGY STAR is a very recognizable brand in the field. In fact, 80% of the U.S. public recognizes the ENERGY STAR as the symbol for energy efficiency―and that recognition is growing each year. You are probably most familiar with ENERGY STAR through the labels that you see on your TV, computer monitor, and other household and office equipment.

However, as indicated above, the ENERGY STAR is also used to identify America’s commercial and industrial buildings that have achieved superior energy performance.

A study published by Neilsen in 2012 discovered that 66% of consumers would prefer to spend their money with companies that have some kind of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in place. A survey done by Edelman learned that 72% of respondents would recommend a cause-supporting brand over one that doesn’t engage in CSR practices. This means that earning the ENERGY STAR label not only helps you be more energy efficient and reduce energy costs, but has the added benefit of providing you with bragging rights around your CSR initiatives, therefore drawing more consumers to your store than to your competitor’s. The ENERGY STAR demonstrates environmental leadership.

Our team of Professional Engineers can work with you to improve the efficiency of your buildings and help with the labeling process. Please contact us for more information or to get started.

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