Comparison’s Matter
Comparison’s Matter

We talk a lot about the importance of social norms—that people are influenced by the actions of their peers. The power of norms isn’t limited to individuals—businesses also strive to look good compared to their competition. That is why businesses tout the awards they win for quality, customer service and, yes, even energy efficiency.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager facilitates business comparisons of energy use in buildings. Offered through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the free software enables property managers and owners to see how their properties stack up against similar types of buildings. Stakeholders can also use the software to earn ENERGY STAR certification for the most efficient buildings.

Because we know comparisons matter, Cool Choices was pleased to partner with the Great Plains Institute (GPI) and the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) on a report characterizing ENERGY STAR certified buildings in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin ENERGY STAR report, “Leaders in Efficiency: ENERGY STAR Buildings in Wisconsin,” details the types of ENERGY STAR buildings certified (schools dominate), the cities with the most buildings and other fun facts—including a photo of one ENERGY STAR certified building in Wisconsin that was built in 1857.

Buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR certification are more energy efficient than 75 percent of similar buildings around the country and use, on average, 35 percent less energy. Buildings that get recertified annually are on average even more efficient.

ENERGY STAR certified buildings in Wisconsin represent nearly 72 million square feet of floor space in the state. Publicizing Wisconsin successes and showcasing leaders in ENERGY STAR certification—can inspire other building owners and managers to use ENERGY STAR portfolio manager to benchmark their buildings. More benchmarking leads to more ENERGY STAR certifications, reducing energy costs and increasing resource efficiency—which is a win for everyone.

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