The campaign, developed in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under its Energy Star Challenge, is designed to educate association members about the financial and environmental benefits of improving energy efficiency, train commercial building operators and owners on strategic energy management, and recognize members who demonstrate energy savings of 10, 20, 30% or more. Because energy is the single largest operating cost in an office building, representing 30% of a typical building's costs, the value of these savings is substantial for the bottom line, and also the environment, says the EPA.
The campaign was developed by the Building Owners and Managers Association Foundation and a task force of industry leaders, including USAA Realty, Cushman & Wakefield, Lurie Company, Trammell Crow, Jones Lang LaSalle, Transwestern Commercial Services, and others in coordination with the EPA.
EPA launched the Energy Star Challenge in March 2005 to encourage businesses and institutions across the country to take steps to identify the many buildings where financially attractive improvements can reduce energy use by 10% or more, and to make the improvements now through proven methods such as low-cost building tuneups, lighting upgrades, and replacement of old equipment. EPA estimates that if each building owner took on this challenge, by 2015 Americans would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by amounts equivalent to the emissions from 15 million vehicles, while saving about $10 billion.