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Energy Star Qualified Buildings Surge in 2007
The number of commercial buildings and manufacturing plants to earn the Energy Star for superior energy efficiency is up by more than 25 percent in the past year.
The amount of carbon dioxide emissions reduced under the program has reached an all-time high of more than 25 billion pounds, according to the EPA.
Nearly 4,100 buildings and manufacturing plants have earned the EPA's Energy Star through the end of 2007, with the addition of more than 1,400 in 2007 alone. They include about 1,500 office buildings, 1,300 supermarkets, 820 K-12 schools and 250 hotels. Also, more than 185 banks, financial centers, hospitals, courthouses, warehouses, dormitories. For the first time, big-box retail buildings also earned the Energy Star label.
In total, EPA says that these facilities have saved nearly $1.5 billion annually in lower energy bills and prevented carbon dioxide emissions equal to the emissions associated with electricity use of more than 1.5 million American homes for a year, relative to typical buildings.
Commercial buildings that have earned the Energy Star use nearly 40 percent less energy than average buildings and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, offering a significantly smaller carbon footprint. About 500 Energy Star buildings use 50 percent less energy than average buildings.
To qualify for the Energy Star, a building or manufacturing plant must score in the top 25 percent using EPA's National Energy Performance Rating System.
Energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants accounts for nearly half of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 50 percent of energy consumption nationwide.