I don’t want to sound too much like a fortune cookie, but here goes: Partnerships have their advantages! And, especially if you’re concerned with energy efficiency, one of the best partnerships you can have is with Energy Star – the EPA’s program to help consumers and businesses make the best choices for lowering their energy consumption.
As VP of Facilities Management at Extra Space Storage, I’m busy helping to take care of more than 900 properties, but I do understand when it’s time to take a break to assess what I’m doing for energy efficiency, and make a plan for the future. And Energy Star helps make it easier for companies to do just that.
Becoming an Energy Star Partner is a good way to help yourself help your company help the environment! Well, maybe that last line sounded like a bad fortune cookie, but do keep reading to see if maybe Energy Star is in your company’s future.
What it Takes to Become an Energy Star Partner and Leader
• Partnership first
To become an Energy Star Partner, your company is required to have a program to measure their carbon footprint and take actions to lower it on a year-to-year basis. Energy Star tools and resources can help your business meet their energy-efficiency goals. The Energy Star Partner application is available online.
• Leadership and awards next
To become an Energy Star Leader, you must first become an Energy Star Partner. Energy Star Leaders must own two or more facilities that can be rated with the EPA’s national energy performance rating system, and at least half of the total square footage owned must be ratable. Those businesses that can be rated by the EPA’s system may receive special recognition if they show energy efficiency improvements of at least 10 percent.
Where Extra Space Storage Stands
• No rating system for storage facilities
We’ve been an Energy Star Partner for several years. However, there is currently no EPA rating system for self-storage facilities, which means Extra Space Storage isn’t eligible to become an Energy Star Leader at this time. That’s disappointing, but there’s always tomorrow!
• Going forward
It’s nice to be an Energy Star Partner, but whether we’re involved with Energy Star or not, we’re still committed to deploying our capital in a way that is meaningful for helping the environment while also improving our bottom line.
Why Businesses Should Become Energy Star Partners and Leaders
• Motivation to make changes
One simple reason to become an Energy Star Partner is that it forces you to put a plan together for reducing your company’s energy consumption! If you love the idea of saving energy, but you can’t seem to get motivated to make changes, then Energy Star can help provide that kick you need. Energy Star Partners agree to measure, track and benchmark energy performance, as well as develop and implement a plan to improve performance. It’s like having homework. You know the teacher will check it, so you’re more motivated to do it!
• Improvement in marketability
Energy Star is widely recognized. Public awareness of the label reached 80 percent in 2011! The first Energy Star qualified product line was introduced in 1992, but today businesses can benefit from the Energy Star name recognition by becoming Energy Star Partners and Leaders. It’s a great opportunity to show consumers that you care about lowering your energy consumption.
I’ve joked about fortune cookies, but the truth is that you hold the power to lower your company’s energy consumption. Whether you decide to become an Energy Star Partner or not, I hope you do take a look at your company’s carbon footprint and make a plan for lowering it.
Have you measured your company’s carbon footprint? If so, were you surprised by your findings?Is an Energy Star Partnership in Your Future? by Brent Hardy