In partnership with several states and utilities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new pilot program designed to further improve commercial-building energy efficiency. Building Performance with Energy Star will help utilities and state energy-efficiency programs achieve increased energy savings and fight climate change by strategically pursuing whole-building energy improvements with their business customers. The pilot program is being launched with Energy Star partners Commonwealth Edison, Mass Save, MidAmerican, National Grid, New Jersey's Clean Energy Program, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Focus on Energy.
Modeled after the Home Performance with Energy Star program, Building Performance with Energy Star will provide a framework for regional energy-efficiency programs to align their financial incentives and technical assistance with a comprehensive approach to building upgrades. Building Performance with Energy Star includes several key elements to help states and utilities promote an inclusive strategy for improving energy efficiency. These elements include measuring energy use with the EPA’s online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, to score building performance; approaching energy-efficiency opportunities in light of findings from whole-building assessments; and creating a delivery network for whole-building efficiency services.
Utilities and states that partner with the EPA will use the program to help business customers strategically plan and implement energy-efficiency improvements over time, such as starting with low-payback measures that can create revenue to fund capital upgrades in the future. The program also can be used to help customers identify buildings with the most opportunities for improvement and prioritize technical assistance and incentives for projects that will deliver the largest energy savings.