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Apr 272010
 
The Sheraton Austin Hotel will compete on the EPA energy contest.

The Sheraton Austin Hotel will compete in the EPA energy contest.

From Green Right Now Reports

Move over, Project Runway and The Biggest Loser. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will sponsor the first national energy efficiency contest of its kind among a field of 14 commercial buildings from across the country.  The building that sheds the most energy waste on a percentage basis will be declared the winner at EPA’s final weigh-in on Oct. 26, 2010.

This will be one contest where you won’t have to feel sorry for the “losers” — by trimming kilowatt hours off the bottom line, each building will still save money and help fight climate change.

EPA officials said nearly 200 applications were received for the contest. The 14 finalists will be judged on their energy performance from Sept. 1, 2009 to Aug. 31, 2010. The energy use of each building is being monitored with EPA’s Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. Television personality Bob Harper will also provide energy fitness tips for the contestants through a series of videos that will be available on the Web site.

EPA’s National Building Competition contestants are:

  • 522 Fifth Avenue Building, New York, N.Y.
  • 1525 Wilson Boulevard Building, Arlington, Va.
  • Crystal River Elementary School, Carbondale, Colo.
  • Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown, San Diego, Calif.
  • JCPenney Store 1778, Orange, Calif.
  • Maplewood Mall, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Memorial Arts Building at the Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Morrison Residence Hall at UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • Sears, Glen Burnie, Md.
  • Sheraton Austin Hotel, Austin, Texas
  • Solon Family Health Center at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tucker Residence Hall at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Van Holten Primary School, Bridgewater, N.J.
  • Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, Va.

“It’s time for buildings to tighten their belts and we’re happy to help them go on an energy diet,” Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation, said in a statement. “Cutting energy use will reduce their monthly expenses and their carbon footprint, showing that environmental protection and economic growth can go hand in hand.”

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 also will participate in mid-point and final contest weigh-ins and the results will be posted online at the competition Web site. Twitter updates by contestants also will be available.

According to the EPA, energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. On average, 30 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.

Thousands of businesses and organizations now work with the EPA’s Energy Star program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere each year.