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EPA Pumps The Brakes On New Energy-Efficiency Ratings After Outcry From Landlords

The United States Environmental Protection Agency, which measures the energy efficiency of more than 200,000 commercial buildings across the country, has paused its efforts to revise its Energy Star rating system due to pushback from landlords.


Major landlords across the U.S. have expressed concerns about the revised system due to unclear methodologies that would potentially penalize or downgrade their properties, the Wall Street Journal reports

The EPA’s new rating system, which rates office and industrial assets, would take into account the ballooning number of buildings now participating in the program, as well as new technologies being used to make properties more efficient such as cloud-based energy-management systems and motion-sensitive lighting, according to the WSJ. Top-performing buildings certified by the EPA receive an Energy Star rating.

Measuring properties’ energy efficiency is tricky, as buildings in different cities use varying energy sources and appliances to make their assets more sustainable, such as steam in New York, according to the WSJ.

“Revisions to Energy Star are much needed and very important … However, to be truly effective the data sources and projections relied upon in the revision must be transparent and reflect industry leading practices,” Real Estate Roundtable CEO Jeffrey DeBoer told the WSJ.

Building for sustainability and energy efficiency has become increasingly important to tenants on the hunt for new digs, and many landlords look to the EPA to measure and compare their energy usage to other properties. There is a business case for energy-efficient lighting and using building materials that are environmentally friendly, as these measures can often reduce costs for owners and operators by up to 30%.