By installing Energy Star Certified Solar Panels, homeowners can significantly reduce their electric bills and contribute to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Energy Star rated buildings lower the Energy Impact Index (EII), which is a calculation based on energy ratings for commercial buildings. Certified buildings also save money, conserve energy, and save the planet by producing fewer greenhouse gases than standard buildings worldwide.
The Energy Star rating is determined by evaluating building performance through three factors: energy use, operational efficiency, and environmental performance. Energy usage is measured on a monthly basis, including the number of kilowatts (kW) used per square foot, per occupant, per year, etc. The operational efficiency measure the average power used per square foot per year, per occupant, per year, etc. The environmental performance measure the amount of emissions produced, including the number of greenhouse gases (GHG’s) produced per square foot, per occupant, per year, etc. Finally, the EII considers the environmental impact of the buildings on the following: carbon emissions, air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, waste emissions, hazardous substances, etc.
For businesses and government offices, energy Star rated buildings help save on the expense of energy. A good example is the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington DC, which requires that all new buildings be Energy Star rated. This is due to the fact that the building’s construction produces more waste than other types of buildings. A good illustration of a building that meets the Energy Star requirements is the San Francisco General Hospital. The hospital has installed many energy efficient features in order to reduce its energy consumption, including: low flow shower heads; low flow toilets; air conditioners; and windows with double panes. Energy Star certified properties also contribute to reducing energy costs by lowering the building’s operating costs by at least 20%.