New EPA Agreement with Canada Will Help Monitor Energy Efficiency and Emissions Across Borders

Sustainability and Green Building

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® is a free online tool currently used by more than 275,000 buildings, or one-quarter of U.S. commercial floorspace, to track energy, water, and waste emissions for multifamily, commercial, and institutional buildings.

It’s also used by Canada — where more than 26,000 Canadian buildings (or around one-third of its commercial space) have used the Portfolio Manager to measure and track energy usage — and a new agreement should help the two countries further collaborate on increasing energy efficiency in buildings and reducing climate pollution.

The EPA and Canada’s equivalent, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), recently recommitted to a 10-year research partnership to enhance features within the tool.

“Today’s agreement with Natural Resources Canada will continue a 10-year research partnership between our agencies, empowering American and Canadian building owners to reduce energy use, save on costs, and cut climate pollution,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in the agency’s press release.

Portfolio Manager includes dozens of energy performance metrics, features to track energy performance relative to similar buildings, and additional content specific to Canadian commercial building stock. The reinvigorated partnership will not only enhance the Portfolio Manager to include a greenhouse gas emission comparison feature, but it will also help building owners and companies that build in both the United States and Canada measure and track energy performance consistently.

An EPA study of 35,000 buildings shows that buildings that benchmark their energy use on a regular basis reduce their energy consumption by 2.4% per year. Tools such as the Portfolio Manager have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emission and help building owners cut costs.

To stay current on the high-performance residential building sector, with tips on water efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and other building science strategies, follow NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building efforts on Twitter.

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