EPA to Reconsider Proposed Energy Star Changes

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be conducting a review of its new Energy Star scoring models for certain commercial buildings. These include office and industrial properties.

Until it has time to conduct the review, the agency has temporarily suspended new Energy Star building certifications. NAIOP members who use Energy Star Portfolio Manager, an online tool administered by the EPA to measure and track energy and water consumption, will be affected. NAIOP is working with its members and others in the real estate community to provide feedback throughout the review process.

The announcement comes on the heels of an update to EPA’s Energy Star scoring models, intended to account for new building consumption data collected over the past decade. When the update went into effect it caused a significant drop in building scores, including a 12-percentage-point decrease for office properties on average. Suddenly, buildings which had been Energy Star-certified and deemed “top performers” were in danger of losing that designation.

Having realized the unprecedented nature of these changes, and the impact on existing properties, EPA decided to initiate a review of its models.

The agency states that the review period will help “ensure that the models are working as intended to deliver energy performance metrics that empower you to make the business case for owning and operating energy-efficient buildings,” and that it is open to adjusting the scoring models, if needed.