The Environmental Protection Agency continues the temporary suspension of ENERGY STAR building certifications, after assessing feedback from a number of building owners and stakeholders. Last month, the EPA announced it would commence a “review period” to solicit building owners feedback on recent ENERGY STAR scoring models, in response to the new model announced in August, which would unfairly downgrade some already certified ENERGY STAR buildings. (Roundtable Weekly, September 14)
The EPA continues the temporary suspension of ENERGY STAR building certifications, after assessing feedback from a number of building owners and stakeholders.
- ENERGY STAR is the key federal label that rates and compares U.S. buildings' energy performance. Currently, EPA lists 34,625 buildings and plants, representing more than 5 billion square feet of commercial space across the country, as ENERGY STAR certified. Through initial analyses of Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) membership, The Roundtable learned that the application of the new 2012 data appears to result in materially different outcomes on scores depending upon building size, geography, and source of heating, and these outcomes were inconsistent. RER on behalf of the industry highlighted the issues to the EPA, and the EPA responded with the announced review period.
- “Revisions to ENERGY STAR are much needed and very important,” said Roundtable President and CEO, Jeffrey DeBoer. “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)
- During the review period, EPA and real estate stakeholders have the opportunity to assess variables such as a building's size, location, and fuel mix, to fully consider if these and other factors have had an indiscriminate impact on the new scoring models. “EPA is looking into concerns raised by industry that score changes for some buildings are different than expected,” said an EPA spokeswoman. (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 9)
“We commend EPA in taking this step toward transparent decision making, and are focused intently on assisting during this review period,” said DeBoer. The Roundtable’s Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee will continue working with the EPA during the remainder of the review period.