Los Angeles Receives Energy Star Crown

By Linda Coburn
San Fernando Valley Business Journal Staff

The Los Angeles metropolitan region was the Energy Star approved capital of the country for commercial buildings in 2008, said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The distinction came in the most active year ever for the Energy Star program, according to EPA spokesperson Maura Beard.

“Over 3,200 buildings across the country earned the Energy Star in 2008,” said Beard. That was almost as many buildings as for all years of the program combined. “We had 130 percent growth over the prior year and a 53 percent increase cumulatively. It was just a huge unprecedented growth for us.”

In the greater San Fernando Valley region, 44 buildings earned the energy efficiency designation in 2008. The buildings that qualified emit 35 percent less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and reduced their energy use by 35 percent.

That translates into an average energy savings of $0.50 per square foot on average for a commercial building.

It’s important to note that the Energy Star looks purely at energy efficiency, which has little to do with installing expensive equipment like solar panels and wind turbines, and more to do with things that any business, regardless of size, can implement.

“The best way to be efficient is to look at things like the operating characteristics of your building,” said Beard. “A lot of folks, once they start measuring and monitoring with our tools, find they are heating and cooling their buildings while unoccupied. So by adjusting those operating features they’ll save energy.”

Installing sensors on light switches, automated thermostats and turning computers off at the end of the day can have a big impact on a operating costs. “And you can do that in a way that doesn’t sacrifice comfort and safety,” said Beard.

Energy Star gives its blessing to 12 different types of commercial buildings, five types of manufacturing plants, and new home construction in addition more than 50 product categories like televisions and appliances.

This article was originally posted at www.sfvbj.com.