The EPA reports that up to 30% of energy used in commercial buildings is wasted, but some buildings across the nation, including ones in Georgia, are working to change that statistic.
58 buildings in Georgia, many in the Atlanta area, are wrapping up the EPA’s 2013 Battle of the Buildings Competition. The annual competition invites commercial buildings of all sizes across the nation to reduce their energy consumption over the course of the calendar year. The aim of the competition is for businesses to save money and energy while reducing their carbon footprint.
More than 3,200 buildings across the United States are participating in the most recent 2013 competition. The over 50 competitors from Georgia include senior care facilities, warehouses, offices, retail spaces, hotels, a bank, and even several courthouses.
The winner of the competition will be the building that had the largest percentage reduction in energy use (adjusted for both weather and building size) compared to their baseline energy consumption during the previous calendar year. The competitors submitted their energy consumption for the 2012 calendar year and then tracked their energy use beginning in the summer of 2013 by using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, an online energy-tracking tool that’s available for use by the public.
During the 2012 competition, Atlanta’s Hemphill Water Treatment Plant (one of the city’s three treatment plants) came in fifth in the EPA’s competition. By replacing the facility’s ancient pumping station with a new electronic variable station along with other energy saving measures, Hemphill was able to reduce energy consumption by 40.6%, with an estimated cost savings of over $3 million!
Many of the buildings in the competition focused on easier retrofits and fixes, such as installing HVAC timers, adding insulation, and changing out lighting. For many though, it also included retrofitting or replacing old HVAC systems. All together, the 2012 competitors saved an estimated $50 million in utility bills.
The winner of 2013’s competition will be announced on April 16th, 2014. While there will be only one winner, buildings that cut their energy use by 20% or more will earn the Energy Star label.
The upcoming 2014 competition will start in just a few months. If you’re interested in your workplace, school, or business participating, you can learn more by visiting the Battle of the Buildings.
Of course, you don’t have to enter a competition to win energy savings for your business or home. Gagne Heating and Air can help you meet your energy savings goals with products and services for every budget.
From zoning systems and Energy Star qualified furnaces to simple updates like programmable thermostats or even just a yearly maintenance on your HVAC system, Gagne has the experience and the products to help every home and business achieve energy and cost savings. If you’re in the metro-Atlanta area, contact us to learn more about ways HVAC updates (metro-atlanta-hvac-contractors.html) can help you save.