Initiative Incorporates ENERGY STAR Tools and Resources
The U.S. Conference of Mayors announced that the City of Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker has received the 2011 U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Award. The Awards ceremony is being held in conjunction with the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting.
Mayor Parker is being recognized for her work in implementing the Houston Green Office Challenge. The voluntary campaign encourages commercial building managers and tenants to reduce energy consumption, water usage and waste production by 10 to 50 percent.
“The Houston Green Office Challenge is one of the many ways that the City of Houston is sponsoring and promoting citywide participation using sustainability initiatives,” said Al Armendariz, EPA Regional Administrator. “We are proud to have provided the key tools and resources that helped make it a success.”
Houston launched a first-time Energy Efficiency Incentive Program for participating building owners and managers. The $3 million program provides incentives to offset 20 percent of up-front implementation costs (up to $200,000) for an energy efficiency project. Over half the funds have been set aside for Class B and C buildings, and buildings with projects less than $500,000.
Houston Green Office Challenge relies heavily on ENERGY STAR tools and resources. Participants measure and track their building’s monthly energy use with EPA’s online tool, Portfolio Manager. They also participate in monthly EPA training sessions on improving energy performance in buildings. More than 330 organizations participate in the Challenge, including city-owned buildings.
For the past three years, the Houston metropolitan area has appeared on the EPA’s annual “Top 10 List,” which ranks U.S. cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings. Mayor Parker has announced a goal to make Houston number one in the country for ENERGY STAR certified buildings.
The Awards Program also recognizes mayors for innovative practices designed to increase energy efficiency and curb climate change. An independent panel of judges selected the winners from a pool of more than 100 applicants.
For more information on the Houston Green Office Challenge, visit: www.houstongoc.org
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