Building energy use represents a large portion of local government energy costs and climate emissions. Buildings consume 70% of the electricity in the US, and emit 40% of the greenhouse gases. Save energy and money by optimizing the energy efficiency of your buildings, and lead by example by challenging the community to follow suit.
Institute and promote -- or require -- green building practices, like LEED certification for new construction and major renovations. Monitor and report government building energy and utility use through EPA’s free Energy Star Portfolio Manager tools, and ask local large building owners to do the same. Tighten local building codes to mandate safer and greener new construction and major renovation, while also emphasizing building safety against climate impacts. Launch and promote policies and programs that advance home and business energy efficiency through improved lighting, energy control systems, and heating and cooling HVAC systems. Provide incentives for installation of renewable energy systems like solar, wind, and geothermal, and also promote green, cool, and water roofs. Make these improvements easier to institute by expediting the permitting process for local homeowners and business owners trying to improve their properties’ energy and utility performance.
The most efficiently designed buildings and facilities only perform as well as its occupants. An easy first step to saving energy is to institute behavioral education and incentive programs so workers, maintenance staff, and cleaning crews reduce unnecessary lighting, heating and cooling, water use, and materials waste. Promote other climate-friendly and cost saving practices like using sustainable supplies and recycling.
Don’t forget streetlights and other outside lighting. Communities require well-lit streets and public spaces for safety and security. Smart lighting using LED technology can help save money and energy while preventing light pollution at night. We guide you to a number of useful tools below to help you improve efficiency.