While LEED is a central topic to this blog, it is not the only measure of energy efficiency. The Environmental Protection Agency has its own Energy Star program through which building owners, managers, etc can upload their building’s energy use. The program then compares your building against buildings of similar type across the country. Your building is then assigned an Energy Star score, from 0-100. This number reflects the percentile that your building falls within. In order to receive Energy Star certification your building must fall into the 75th percentile or higher. Energy Star certification can bring about certain tax benefits, bragging rights, and general savings on energy.
The EPA is currently in the midst of their 2014 National Building Competition. There are more than 5,500 buildings that have been entered from over 100 teams. However, in an effort to highlight a true Cincinnatian, the Kroger Company has submitted 2,353 of the total 5,500 buildings: nearly half. This is incredible and a massive undertaking for a company to try and consolidate and analyze the data for nearly 2500 buildings. By comparison, the US General Services Administration has the second highest amount of buildings entered, at 497. The Kroger Company is demonstrating that energy management can be possible throughout a large corporate entity. I’ll be following the competition to see how the buildings’ energy use patterns change; one small change across the 2500 Kroger stores alone is a step in the right direction. Good luck to all competing buildings!