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14 Buildings Compete For EPA Energy Award

EPA is hosting a national competition among commercial buildings to save energy and fight climate change.

Competitors will "work off the waste" through improvements in energy efficiency with help from EPA's Energy Star program. The building that sheds the most energy waste will be recognized as the winner.

Fourteen buildings were selected to compete, including schools, hotels, dormitories, stores, offices, museums, and other buildings we see in our communities every day. Competitors come from across the country, from mid-town Manhattan to the mountains of Colorado.

Participants will measure and track their building's monthly energy consumption using EPA's online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager; make improvements to their building's energy performance; and share their progress.

As the buildings try to slim down their carbon footprint, they'll receive training tips and encouragement from TV personality, Bob Harper; facility managers and engineers from some of the country's top performing buildings; and EPA.

The building that demonstrates the greatest percentage-based reduction in energy use intensity over the contest energy performance period will be recognized as the winner on October 26, 2010.

Nearly 200 buildings applied to compete. Only 14 were chosen.

Here are some interesting factoids from the EPA on building energy consumption:

Commercial buildings account for 18% of the nation's energy use and nearly 18% of greenhouse gas emissions.

These same buildings spend more than $100 billion annually on energy costs.

Energy Star labeled office buildings cost $0.50 less per square foot to operate than average buildings.

Before earning the Energy Star, a building's energy data must be independently verified by a professional engineer, who also confirms that the building meets standards for indoor air quality.

EPA's National Building Competition contestants are:

522 Fifth Avenue Building, New York, NY

1525 Wilson Boulevard Building, Arlington, VA

Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown, San Diego, CA

JCPenney Store 1778, Orange, CA

Maplewood Mall, St. Paul, MN

Memorial Arts Building at the Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA

Morrison Residence Hall at UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Sears, Glen Burnie, MD

Sheraton Austin Hotel, Austin, TX

Solon Family Health Center at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Tucker Residence Hall, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Van Holten Primary School, Bridgewater, NJ

Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, VA

Sears, Glen Burnie, MD

The competition Web site will provide profiles of each contestant and chronicle their progress as well as feature advice for contestants from EPA and leading building efficiency specialists. Each building will also participate in mid-point (July 31) and final contest weigh ins. Results will be posted online at the competition Web site.

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