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EPA Recognizes University of Central Florida as the winner of EPA’s 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition

Release Date: 11/16/2011
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, 404-562-8421

(ATLANTA – Nov. 16, 2011) – At a ceremony today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming recognized the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, Fla. as the winner of EPA’s 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. UCF’s winning building was a parking garage on the university’s main campus where energy use was decreased by 63.2 percent.

EPA is pleased to recognize University of Central Florida for its commitment to energy efficiency using common sense and sound energy management,” said EPA Regional Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming. “The Energy Star program shows that a commitment to energy efficiency can help protect public health and the environment by reducing emissions, and save money by saving energy.”

The energy efficiency improvements achieved by UCF demonstrate that significant opportunities exist to save energy even in buildings that are not typically associated with sizeable energy use. Lighting accounts for the majority of energy consumed by an above-ground parking structure, therefore UCF focused their efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of the garage lighting. Improvements included upgrading the main garage to high performance T-5 fluorescent lights, retrofitting the top deck with light emitting diode (LEDs) fixtures, and adding motion sensors in the storage areas. In addition to cutting their energy use by 63 percent, UCF reduced their lighting bill for the parking garage by more than half due to improvements made during the competition. UCF is now spreading their successful strategies, as well as savings, to other buildings across the campus.

In its second year, the competition featured teams from 245 buildings across the country in a head-to-head battle to save energy, reduce costs, and protect people's health and the environment. Together, competitors cut their energy costs by $5.2 million. From improvements in operations and maintenance to upgrades in equipment and technology, the competitors saved a combined total of more than 240 million kBtus of energy and $5.2 million on utility bills annually. Competitors reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by more than 3,600 homes.

The 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition measured energy performance from September 1, 2010 through August 31, 2011. Competitors tracked their building's monthly energy consumption using EPA's Energy Star online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. UCF won the competition by demonstrating the largest percent-reduction in energy use, adjusted for weather and the size of the building. The energy use intensity and square footage for each top overall finisher was verified by an independently licensed professional engineer or registered architect at the conclusion of the competition. This marks the second year a university has won the competition. In 2010, Morrison Residence Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won the competition, reducing energy use by more than 35 percent.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with EPA’s Energy Star program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year.

More information on the 2011 Energy Star National Building Competition, including top overall finishers and top finishers by building category: