The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is halfway through their second annual ENERGY STAR National Building Contest — or as we like to call it the Biggest Energy Loser Competition — where buildings compete to shed the largest amount of energy usage over a six month period. This year’s competition is being fought out by a field of 245 teams from buildings around the country (that number is way up from just 14 last year) and together, the buildings have avoided a total of $3.7 million in utility bills over the first three months of the competition. The leaders have cut their energy use by as much as 30% and from here on out, it’s a race to the finish to see which building claims the top spot on November 2nd.
The competition will be judged by measuring each building’s Energy Use Intensity (EUI) which ENERGY STAR monitors over the course of the competition. Last year’s winner, Morrison Hall, a dorm at UNC Chapel Hill, cut their EUI from 213 to 137. This year there are 103 office buildings, 62 K-12 schools, 12 medical office buildings, 10 hospitals, 7 retail stores and a number of other building types from 33 states and the District of Columbia enrolled in the contest.
The competition affords the winner no prize other than their energy savings over the course of the competition — which often amounts to tens of thousands of dollars — and the right to claim their biggest loser title. The competition is the perfect showcase of energy saving techniques that can be implemented if teams work together to reduce their consumption. “By taking part in the Battle of the Buildings, these property owners are not only reducing their energy use, they are also helping to reduce emissions to the air, saving money and protecting our environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England regional office. “Any building operator can apply many of the same common-sense steps we take at home to do their part to save energy in the buildings in which we work, learn and play.”
Hold out until November 2nd to see who comes away with the prize! Will it be a garage at Central Florida University (with a halfway savings of $17,461), a Credit Union in San Diego (with a halfway savings of $12,231), a middle school in Indiana (with a halfway savings of $71,704) or one of the other 242 competitors? Check out their savings for yourself here.
Lead image is of the Colonnade Hotel in Boston, a contestant in the competition.