ENERGY POLICY - November 30, 2018 - Roundtable Weekly

Roundtable Submits Recommendations to Improve ENERGY STAR Scoring Models; EPA Seeks Additional Feedback from Building Owners

The Real Estate Roundtable on Nov. 26 sent recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve the agency’s ENERGY STAR scoring methods, which rate a building’s energy efficiency performance.  (Roundtable Letter and Recommendations)

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The Real Estate Roundtable on Nov. 26 sent recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve the agency’s ENERGY STAR scoring methods, which rate a building’s energy efficiency performance.  (Roundtable Letter and Recommendations)

  • Nearly 35,000 buildings and plants – representing more than 5 billion square feet of commercial space – have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR.  Pension funds and other institutional investors frequently rely on the label as a market signal for well-managed assets with smaller carbon footprints.  Business tenants also seek to locate in ENERGY STAR-certified buildings to lower their utility expenses.
  • Last August, EPA announced the first updates to its ENERGY STAR scoring models in over a decade.  Initial analyses by The Roundtable’s Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) and other stakeholders indicated that EPA’s new models produced arbitrary scoring results.  Offices over 500,000 square feet in size, and buildings located in colder climates requiring more heating throughout the year, appear to have sustained the most significant ENERGY STAR score declines.
  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer in October told the Wall Street Journal, “Revisions to ENERGY STAR are much needed and very important.  However, to be truly effective the data sources and projections relied upon in the revision must be transparent and reflect industry leading practices.” (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 9)
  • The Roundtable's Nov. 26 summary and recommended changes to EPA’s scoring methods seek to ensure a level-playing field for the ENERGY STAR label – so that buildings of all sizes located in varying climate zones across the country are rated fairly.  
  • EPA has requested additional data from owners and managers to test its methods on specific buildings and portfolios.  Stakeholders interested in working with the agency to assess how particular properties have fared since new ENERGY STAR scores were released last August should consult EPA’s website, “How to Respond to Data Requests in Portfolio Manager.” 

EPA plans to wrap-up its review period and resume issuing ENERGY STAR building labels by next spring.    

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