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EPA Launches Voluntary “ENERGY STAR Tenant Space” Program to Certify High Performance Leased Office Suites

  • October 16, 2020

EnergyStar Tenant Space

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Oct. 13 launched its voluntary “ENERGY STAR Tenant Space” labeling program to recognize tenants who collaborate with their landlords on design and construction of high performance leased office spaces. (Download EPA's Oct. 15 webinar slides – How to Apply for ENERGY STAR Tenant Space Recognition.)

  • EPA’s new certification for office tenants is now a permanent ENERGY STAR program offering, to complement the agency’s popular “whole building” label. The ENERGY STAR label is a key marketplace influence to signal energy efficient assets, impacting nearly 35,000 buildings and plants nationwide that represent more than 5 billion square feet of commercial space. (ENERGY STAR Facts and Stats)
  • “ENERGY STAR Tenant Space” recognition requires office tenants to estimate their suites’ energy use, separately meter their spaces, use efficient office equipment, and share energy usage data with their landlords. (See EPA’s guide, “How to Prepare for Tenant Space Recognition.”)
  • EPA will also offer access to a new online tool for estimating lighting energy usage within its commonly used Portfolio Manager benchmarking platform. Use of this new lighting assessment function, and requiring an office suite to meet a lighting efficiency “target,” will be a prerequisite for the voluntary Tenant Space label.
  • The Tenant Space label is currently available to office tenants. EPA explained to SPAC members that it intends to expand the program to provide recognition opportunities to retail and warehouse tenants in the coming months.
  • ENERGY STAR building ratings and the corollary Tenant Space program were part of a discussion held October 1 at The Real Estate Roundtable’s offices in Washington, D.C., between EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer. 
  • In a video of the discussion, Wheeler stated he is a “strong” ENERGY STAR proponent and that the agency’s expansion of the label to cover tenant spaces was “the right thing to do.” Wheeler also emphasized these platforms must remain voluntary to encourage additional private-sector technological innovations in buildings and manufacturing. (See video at 12:40 and Roundtable Weekly, Oct. 2)

EPA’s tenant recognition efforts are authorized by the so-called “Tenant Star” law, passed by Congress in 2015 with The Roundtable’s strong backing. (Commercial Property Executive, May 4, 2015)

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