ENERGY STAR is an energy efficiency rating program sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Just as your appliances can receive an energy efficiency rating, your building or manufacturing plant can earn the ENERGY STAR label. An ENERGY STAR-qualified facility meets energy performance standards set by EPA, uses less energy, and is less expensive to operate.
For more than a decade, EPA has worked with businesses and organizations to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions through strategic energy management practices. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR, a building or manufacturing plant must score in the top 25 percent based on EPA's National Energy Performance Rating System. To determine the performance of a facility, EPA compares energy use among other, similar types of facilities on a scale of 1–100; buildings that achieve a score of 75 or higher may be eligible for the ENERGY STAR. The EPA rating system accounts for differences in operating conditions, regional weather data, and other relevant factors.
Energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption in the U.S. at a cost of over $200 billion per year, more than any other sector of the economy. Research suggests that many buildings may benefit from attention to energy issues. ENERGY STAR provides a national benchmarking reference for identifying opportunities and measuring improvement.
You need to enter at least a full year of electric and gas or oil bills. You can also enter data for a water meter if you choose, but the water meter data will not affect your ENERGY STAR rating. GreenQuest tracks a single electric meter and a single gas or oil meter. If you have more than one electric or gas meter, you can combine the bills into monthly totals. Larger organizations may want to consider tracking their energy use with EnergyCAP.
If your building type is one of those that are eligible to receive an ENERGY STAR rating, GreenQuest will automatically submit your energy data and return the results the next day. GreenQuest will automatically re-submit your data each time you add new utility bills.
Commercial buildings achieving a score of 75 or higher and verified by a professional engineer are eligible to apply for the ENERGY STAR plaque. There is no cost to apply. You must login to EPA’s Portfolio Manager system to apply for an ENERGY STAR label and plaque. GreenQuest automatically creates a Portfolio Manager account for you. Use the GreenQuest contact form to request login information from GreenQuest.
GreenQuest interfaces with Portfolio Manager. You might say that GreenQuest is a friendlier face than Portfolio Manager. Data you enter into GreenQuest is uploaded nightly to Portfolio Manager, which then returns the rating to GreenQuest. Since GreenQuest has more useful charts and graphs and is easier to use, you never need to login to Portfolio Manager (unless you want to apply for an ENERGY STAR label or a leader award).
EnergyCAP is used for energy tracking, analysis and reporting by organizations that own or manage many buildings. EnergyCAP automatically submits data to EPA and receives ENERGY STAR ratings. Visit www.EnergyCAP.com.
Sure—GreenQuest is the perfect tool to track the electric, water and gas/oil bills you receive for your house, apartment or condominium. The only difference is that you won’t see an ENERGY STAR rating because EPA does not currently rate residences. But GreenQuest’s charts and graphs will still give you valuable information and insights to help you to save energy and money, so why not start today?