The City of Virginia Beach’s Energy Office is launching a new energy benchmarking training program as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) online energy management and tracking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager. To help organizations use this new and improved tool, City staff will hold monthly training sessions at on how to use this new energy management program.
Training classes will be held at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library each month throughout 2014.
Attendees will be taught how to measure the energy performance, water use, utility costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. Information will be available on how to improve energy usage.
The training will assist organizations in receiving an “energy score” which indicates a building’s energy efficiency. Buildings that score 75 or higher and have had their data verified by Energy Star, are eligible to earn EPA’s Energy Star certification. For buildings with lower scores, suggestions on how to improve energy will be available. Information on how to participate in the Commonwealth’s Virginia Green program (for tourism related buildings) and other environmental initiatives will also be available.
The City of Virginia Beach offers a special tax rate – as much as $.15 off per tax dollar, or a reduction from $.93 to $.78 on the real estate tax rate - to qualified residential and commercial energy-efficient buildings. Information is also located at this link: Energy Efficiency - Tax Relief Programs - or in print at the Planning Department's Office of Permits and Inspections, 2405 Courthouse Drive, Building #2, Room 100, Virginia Beach, VA 23456.
Applications and other information will be available at the training. Space is limited, so interested parties should call 757-385-5663 or go to www.vbgov.com/energy to register for the training.
Energy Star Fact Sheet
Energy Star certified buildings use, on average, 35 percent less energy and generate 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings.
Studies have shown that they have lower operating costs, increased asset value, and higher occupancy rates.
Additionally, there are benefits to simply measuring and tracking a building’s energy performance in Portfolio Manager—a recent EPA study showed that buildings that benchmarked consistently over a three-year period logged an average energy use reduction of 2.4 percent each year.
For commercial building portfolios with annual energy bills in the millions of dollars and that emit tens of thousands of metric tons of GHG emissions each year, these reductions can be substantial.
In 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced ENERGY STAR as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Computers and monitors were the first labeled products.
Through its partnerships with 18,000 private and public sector organizations, ENERGY STAR has successfully delivered energy and cost savings across the country, saving businesses, organizations, and consumers $24 billion in 2012 alone.
Through 1995, EPA expanded the label to additional office equipment products and residential heating and cooling equipment. In 1996, EPA partnered with the US Department of Energy for particular product categories.
The ENERGY STAR label is now on major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, new homes and commercial and industrial buildings and plants.
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