Tool Helps Businesses Compare Their Buildings' Carbon Emissions to Others in Same Region

Portfolio Manager, EPA's online energy rating system for commercial buildings, now includes greenhouse gas emission factors, agency officials announced on Sept. 28.

Portfolio Manager is an online tool that helps buildings take control of their energy to increase energy efficiency and help protect our environment. Organizations have used Portfolio Manager to benchmark the energy performance for billions of square feet of office buildings, schools, hotels, and other buildings across the country and thousands of buildings have earned the Energy Star for superior energy efficiency.

The emissions factors for carbon dioxide (CO2) are from EPA's Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) and are consistent with those used by major greenhouse gas reporting protocols, officials said. With the integration of eGRID into EPA's, Portfolio Manager, businesses can see how the CO2 emissions of their buildings compare to others in their same region and across the country. This allows organizations to assess and address the climate change impact of their buildings according to standardized protocols, prioritize energy efficiency improvements, and lessen the impact on the environment.

For example, a look at a typical office building in the New England region shows that the building contributes 20 pounds of CO2 per square foot. An Energy Star office building in this region contributes just 15 pounds per square foot, a reduction of at least 25 percent.

For more information on eGRID and Portfolio Manager, go to http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=evaluate_performance.bus_portfoliomanager_carbon.

Check out the archives of Environmental Protection magazine's Web site for additional articles related to Energy Star, including: "Mayors Agree to Improve Energy Efficiency by 10 Percent, Release Survey on Climate Protection."

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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