The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting nominations through May 23 for commercial buildings to compete in the 2012 Energy Star National Building Competition. The annual contest offers commercial building owners and managers a chance to receive national recognition for their efforts to achieve energy, water and cost savings.
245 buildings from across the country participated in last year's Battle of the Buildings
. In total, competitors saved more than 240 million kBtus and $5.2 million on utility bills, preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of 3,600 homes a year. Almost one-third of the buildings last year reduced their energy use by 10 percent or more, and more than 37 percent of eligible competitors earned the Energy Star by the end of the competition.
The competition is more robust this year, with the EPA expanding its recognition of not only the overall winner and top finishers in each building category, but also any building that improves efficiency by 20 percent, and the EPA has added a water efficiency category. Participants will be able to join in monthly networking sessions, use free marketing materials and logos, and will be mentioned on the competition website.
Eligibility requirements, rules, step-by-step instructions for registering and a helpful FAQ can be found at EnergyStar.Gov/BattleOfTheBuildings
. To be eligible a building must be benchmarked in EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager with complete data for 2011, but there is no limit to the number of buildings an individual can register. Applications are due May 23, 2012.