Privatizing the $57 million program could upend entire industries and kneecap cities’ efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Over the past 25 years, the federal government’s Energy Star program has become a valuable marker for all kinds of industries. Real estate agents upsell buildings that have been Energy Star-certified as energy efficient. Homeowners seek out its blue logo on electricity-guzzling appliances and devices.
The cuts come as part of President Donald Trump administration’s effort to channel federal spending away from a variety of other programs and toward a $54 billion military buildup. But Energy Star helps save even more than the $57 million that the federal government spends on it each year, according to more than a dozen business executives, building consultants and energy advocates The Huffington Post interviewed this week.
Energy Star has slashed $430 billion off utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2.7 billion tons since its inception, according to 2015 estimates.
“It’s such a win for our economy and such a huge return on investment of federal dollars,” said Kateri Callahan, president of the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy. “It’s penny wise and pound foolish to look at reducing funding, let alone defunding the program or stopping it completely.”
For builders, Energy Star provides a standard to measure the energy efficiency of their properties. For landlords and building managers, free Portfolio Manager software launched under the initiative helps monitor energy and water use and shave hundreds off utility bills. For engineers, the program offers guidelines on indoor lighting, plumbing, ventilation, heating and cooling, ensuring that their structures waste as little electricity, heating gas and water as possible.
“There are three stages of a project: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? And what steps do you have to take to get there?” said Glenn Tanner, principal engineer at a Torrance, California-based green engineering design firm called MEP. “Energy Star’s benchmark is the first way to find out where you are. You can’t make improvements if you haven’t measured where you are.”
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This Blog article has been posted by Maximum Energy Professionals, a mechanical engineering firm located in Torrance, CA. For information on Sustainability Services including: ENERGY STAR utility benchmarking and award certification, California AB802 Compliance, ASHRAE energy audits, LEED, and energy conservation/green Mechanical-Electrical- Plumbing systems and equipment design, please give us a call at 310–782- 1410 or visit our website at www.mep-llc.com.