Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: EPA Announces Competition to Improve Building Energy Efficiency

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: EPA Announces Competition to Improve Building Energy Efficiency

Columbia Law School Center For Climate Change Law

J. Cullen Howe   By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP

On May 2, 2011, EPA announced the Battle of the Buildings, a competition among commercial, medical, educational, and public buildings to reduce energy use.  The competition, which is being administered by EPA’s Energy Star program, will pit the owners, operators, and managers of 245 buildings around the country in a head-to-head contest to improve energy efficiency and see who can reduce energy usage the most.  According to EPA, the competition includes 26 types of buildings, including retail stores, schools, hospitals, hotels, houses of worship, and museums.


Battle of the Buildings


The winner of the 2010 contest was a residence hall at the University of North Carolina, which reduced its energy use by nearly 36% by improving its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, optimizing the solar heating water system, making improvements to its lighting, and other changes.


Competitors can measure and track monthly energy consumption using Portfolio Manager, EPA’s Energy Star online tracking tool.  Of the initial 245 competitors, a small group of buildings will be selected as finalists in July 2011.  The finalists will be required to submit Statements of Energy Performance on their utility data for the entire competition period.  Among the finalists, the building with the largest percentage reduction in energy use will be recognized as the winner in November.


Reprinted with permission from Green Building Law Update Service.


The Green Building Law Update Service is a 2011 LexisNexis Top 50 Blogs for Environmental Law & Climate Change nominee.


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J. Cullen Howe is an environmental law specialist at Arnold & Porter LLP. Much of Cullen's work focuses on climate change, where he attempts to educate lawyers and the public at large on the enormous cooperation necessary to adequately address this problem. In addition to his work on climate change, Cullen is the managing editor of Environmental Law in New York, edits the Environmental Law Practice Guide, Brownfields Law and Practice, the Environmental Impact Review in New York, and has drafted chapters in the Environmental Law Practice Guide on climate change and green building. Mr. Howe is a graduate of Vermont Law School, where he was the managing editor of the Vermont Law Review, and a graduate of DePauw University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


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