More than 3,000 buildings will compete over the remainder of the year to see which structure can most reduce its energy use in the fourth annual Energy Start National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. The competition, hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was created in support of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan, which calls for buildings to cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020.
This year, more than 3,200 buildings in 25 different commercial building types are competing, up from 14 buildings in 2010. Competitors measure and track their monthly energy consumption from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2013, via Energy Star's Portfolio Manager tool. Midpoint weigh-in results will be posted in December, with the winner announced in April 2014. The winner will be the building that demonstrates the greatest percentage-based reduction in energy use intensity during the competition period. Award will also be given for the most valuable participant, top tenant, and special EPA recognition for any building that reduces its energy use by at least 20 percent.
This year also allows commercial tenants to compete, provided that they have a full year of energy data for the 2013 calendar year.
The competition's website will track all competitors and features a live Twitter feed where competitors will post updates on their progress, an interactive map of competitor locations, online profiles of each competitor, and user-generated photos.
Last year, Demarest Elementary School in Bloomfield, N.J., won the competition by reducing its energy use by 52 percent, dropping its kBtu per square foot use from 165 to 79 with an estimated associated cost savings of $75,900.