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By Karen Kroll
Energy Efficiency Article Use Policy
The Energy Star program launched 20 years ago, when about 30 percent of energy in commercial buildings was being used inefficiently or unnecessarily — say, through lights and computers that remained on even when they weren't being used, says Jean Lupinacci, director of the Energy Star commercial and industrial branch. "The program was focused on helping schools, hospitals and office buildings find opportunities to eliminate waste."
To accomplish that, building managers and owners needed an efficient way to track their facilities' energy use, and compare it to other buildings. Back in 1992, few facility managers were doing this. Those who did lacked an easy way to compare their performance to others.
Energy Star created the online Portfolio Manager tool to enable building managers to track energy use on an ongoing basis, and to rate many facilities' performance against a statistically representative model of similar buildings across the country and determine an Energy Star score. The scores range from one to 100; those earning 75 or above may qualify for Energy Star Certification. (To receive Energy Star certification, an independent professional engineer must certify a building's energy performance.)
The EPA currently is upgrading the Portfolio Manager tool to improve its usability and calculation speed. The new version is scheduled to launch in mid-2013.
— Karen Kroll
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