Energy Star® Certification

Does your building or commercial facility qualify for Energy Star certification? For over 20 years, the U.S. E.P.A.’s Energy Star program has been rating buildings on their energy efficiency. It’s not just for home appliances! 

According to, “Energy Star certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings.” Some of the most frequently asked questions we get about Energy Star are:

  • How Do I Qualify for Energy Star?

  • How Do I Apply for Energy Star?

  • What Should I do if My Building Scores Below a 75 Rating for Energy Star?

  • What Types of Facilities are Eligible to Earn Energy Star certification?

How Do I Qualify for Energy Star?

To qualify for Energy Star, “a building or manufacturing plant must earn a 75 or higher on EPA's 1-100 energy performance scale, indicating that the facility performs better than at least 75% of similar buildings nationwide.” In other words, the commercial building must perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings.

To determine their score, organizations use Energy Star’s web-based Portfolio Manager, “an interactive energy management tool that allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption across your entire portfolio of buildings.” An Energy Star rating in Portfolio Manager is a first step in qualifying a building for LEED - EB certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Existing Buildings). For more about LEED, click here.

The architects and engineers at Newman Consulting Group have helped many building owners and managers determine whether they can qualify for Energy Star. Often, this involves conducting an ASHRAE Level 1 or Level 2 energy audit, then determining which changes or upgrades will make the most impact on the building’s energy use. NCG also helps companies through the Energy Star application process.

How Do I Apply for Energy Star?

The first thing to do is analyze a year’s worth of energy bills to see how they compare to buildings of similar size in a similar climate. Energy Star has developed a rating system for this purpose.  If the building has a rating of 75 or better, that means it performs better than 75 percent of similar buildings. A building with a 75 or higher is eligible to apply for Energy Star certification.

What Should I Do if My Building Scores Below a 75 Rating for Energy Star?

If the building does not achieve at least a 75, the next step is usually an energy audit (click here for more on energy audits). The audit will show where improvements can be made. See the article, "Energy Jumpstart Helps Existing Buildngs Qualify for LEED EBOM.")

NCG regularly conducts these kinds of energy audits, and provides a list of high, medium and low-cost improvement opportunities designed to help a building achieve that 75 or better.  At the very least, the building will run more efficiently, use less energy, and save money.  

What Types of Facilities are Eligible to Earn the ENERGY STAR?

  • Commercial Buildings
  • Bank branches
  • Courthouses
  • Data centers
  • Dormitories
  • Financial centers
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels
  • House of worship
  • K-12 schools
  • Medical offices
  • Offices
  • Retailers
  • Senior Care
  • Supermarkets
  • Warehouses
  • Manufacturing Plants
  • Auto assembly plants
  • Cement plants
  • Container glass manufacturing
  • Cookie and cracker baking plants
  • Flat glass manufacturing
  • Frozen fried potato processing plants
  • Juice processing
  • Petroleum refineries
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing plants
  • Pulp and paper plants
  • Wet corn mills

For more information on the cost of Energy Star Certification, click below,
or call Newman Consulting Group at 248-626-4910.

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