New Tool Offers an Inside Look at the Climate Change Impact of Buildings - Energy Star buildings release less carbon dioxide
Estimating the carbon footprint of commercial buildings has just become easier. Portfolio Manager, EPA’s on-line energy rating system for commercial buildings, now includes greenhouse gas emission factors. The updated ratings show that Energy Star buildings, which use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings, also emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The emissions factors for carbon dioxide (CO2) are from EPA’s Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) and are consistent with those used by major greenhouse gas reporting protocols. With the integration of eGRID into EPA’s, Portfolio Manager, businesses can see how the CO2 emissions of their buildings compare to others in their same region and across the country. This allows organizations to assess and address the climate change impact of their buildings according to standardized protocols, prioritize energy efficiency improvements, and lessen the impact on the environment.
For example, a look at a typical office building in the New England region shows that the building contributes 20 pounds of CO2 per square foot. An Energy Star office building in this region contributes just 15 pounds per square foot, a reduction of at least 25 percent. Americans can look for buildings that have earned the Energy Star with confidence, knowing that the building is energy efficient with a smaller carbon footprint.
The Energy Star strategy for superior energy management emphasizes the importance of corporate commitment and helps position companies to address risks from climate change and improve transparency. Companies that have partnered with EPA and use Energy Star tools are now being recognized for their leadership.
EPA started the Energy Star program in 1992 as a voluntary partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. In 2006, American businesses and consumers with the help of Energy Star saved $14 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of 25 million vehicles annually. Learn more at: http://www.energystar.gov
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