In a contest sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 14 commercial buildings from across the country are competing to see which can shed the most energy waste on a percentage basis.

Nearly 200 applications were received for the EPA's National Building Competition, and the 14 finalists will be judged on their energy performance from Sept. 1, 2009 to Aug. 31, 2010. Each building’s energy use is being monitored with Portfolio Manager, the EPA's Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool. Television personality Bob Harper will also provide energy fitness tips for the contestants through a series of videos that will be available on the competition’s Website.

The contestants are:

• 522 Fifth Avenue Building, New York, N.Y.
• 1525 Wilson Boulevard Building, Arlington, Va.
• Crystal River Elementary School, Carbondale, Colo.
• Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown, San Diego, Calif.
• JCPenney Store 1778, Orange, Calif.
• Maplewood Mall, St. Paul, Minn.
• Memorial Arts Building at the Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Ga.
• Morrison Residence Hall at UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.
• Sears, Glen Burnie, Md.
• Sheraton Austin Hotel, Austin, Texas
• Solon Family Health Center at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
• Tucker Residence Hall at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
• Van Holten Primary School, Bridgewater, N.J.
• Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, Va.

The competition’s Website will provide profiles of each contestant, chronicling progress as well as featuring advice from the EPA and building-efficiency specialists. Each building also will participate in mid-point and final contest weigh-ins, and the results will be posted online. The winner will be declared during the EPA's final weigh-in on Oct. 26.