According to the EPA, government agencies spend more than $10 billion a year on energy, yet nearly a third of energy used to run government buildings goes to waste. The ENERGY STAR certification program is a simple and effective way for building managers to increase their energy efficiency and realize those savings while also showing their environmental stewardship. In 2011, almost $2.3 billion was saved annually, thanks to the nearly 16,500 certified buildings in this program.
By examining building performance, local governments can reduce energy consumption and find some serious savings. In this era of ever-tightening budgets and “doing more with less,” who can afford to pass that up? Sometimes all that’s required are low-cost or even no-cost measures, such as turning off the lights when not in use or asking employees to fully shut down their computers at night as opposed to letting them hibernate.
Taking steps to improve energy efficiency provides numerous benefits to local governments. Saving on utility bills frees up funds which can be put toward better serving constituents. Governments need to lead by example, so publishing actions the local government is undertaking to reduce energy use leads to the discussion of how the public can reduce energy use, and how the community as a whole benefits from energy efficiency.
It’s so important for local governments to find ways to save money, improve efficiency and demonstrate good stewardship—which is why UtilityTrac Plus is such a crucial tool to use. This software helps you analyze the performance of your public buildings, benchmark them against each other and evaluate the impact of your energy efficiency projects. One of the core benefits is that UtilityTrac Plus automatically interfaces with ENERGY STAR so applying for ratings is quick and easy.
If you’re not already leveraging ENERGY STAR, we highly recommend you seriously consider doing so. It’s an easy decision that will help your government and community.
ENERGY STAR Resources:
ENERGY STAR for Local Government
Local Governments: An Overview of Energy Use and Energy Efficiency Opportunities
Energy Efficiency in Government Operations and Facilities
Leading by Example in Government Operations