On August 20, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) kicked off the 2013 Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. Over 3,000 buildings have been entered in the competition to reduce waste and cut energy use. A wide variety of buildings are entered in the contest and include a hotel, cathedral, rectory, a historic building, and a sports stadium.
Commercial buildings account for about 20% of the United States’ greenhouse gases and energy consumption, costing $100 billion per year. The goal of this contest is to promote energy savings in commercial buildings through more efficient equipment and less wasteful practices.
This is the fourth straight year the EPA has run the competition and its popularity has grown quickly. In the first year there were only 14 buildings entered.
“Battle of the Buildings is a great opportunity for businesses to save money while reducing carbon pollution that contributes to climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “These are the kinds of smart, innovative solutions that are going to help solve the environmental challenges we face today.”
Last year’s competition motivated building teams to reduce their building’s energy consumption by more than $50 million. They decreased greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equal to the total electricity used annually by 43,000 homes.
Construction workers involved in energy reduction efforts can help reduce injuries on the job by using the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including hard hats, work gloves, and fall protection.