The Environmental Protection Agency received early 200 applications for its National Building Competition, and 14 finalists, ranging from an elementary school to a hotel building, will be judged on their energy performance from September 1, 2009, to August 31, 2010.
Participating in the challenge are buildings from ten states: California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia. The energy use of each building is being monitored with Portfolio Manager, Energy Star's online energy measurement and tracking tool. A Twitter feed follows contestants as they take such actions as upgrading their lighting and cooling systems and tweaking their energy management systems. Fitness expert Bob Harper, who appears on "The Biggest Loser," will also provide energy fitness tips for the contestants through a series of videos that will be available on the competition Web site.
The total number of Energy Star-qualifying buildings and plants in the United States is now more than 9,000, achieving overall annual utility savings of more than $1.6 billion and preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 1 million homes.
More details are on the DoE Web site: