Safeguarding ENERGY STAR for Commercial Buildings

The Issue

Established in 1992, under the George H.W. Bush Administration, ENERGY STAR® is a voluntary program that is currently used by over 450,000 commercial buildings, representing over 40 billion square feet of property, to track and improve a building’s energy use, water consumption, and waste output. The program and its related tool, Portfolio Manager®, is ingrained in today’s real estate business models and operational practices. While ENERGY STAR typically receives widespread bipartisan support, President Trump has proposed changing the program into a user-fee program in the FY20 budget. Much of the debate around ENERGY STAR® has been centered around the appliance application, but the commercial building recognition and performance tools are a large component of the program’s focus and utility.

BOMA Position

BOMA, a 12-time ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award winner, strongly supports the ENERGY STAR buildings program. ENERGY STAR is an example of how the private sector can leverage EPA’s tools to increase energy efficiency and reduce building operating costs. BOMA is currently using the program as the basis of utility calculations for our Water and Waste Challenge. This important private sector challenge supports commercial real estate practitioners to benchmark their water and waste consumption and related costs with the goal of improving operational practices in the built environment. ENERGY STAR fosters high performance in U.S. buildings, helps create jobs in the energy efficiency field, improves the nation’s energy security—and saves money for families and businesses.

Specific Ask

We urge Congress to maintain the program’s funding at FY19 levels in the FY20 budget.


For more information please contact: John Bryant, Advocacy & Building Codes, BOMA International, 202-326- 6323,

  • EPA’s data shows that 85% of consumers recognize ENERGY STAR as a trustworthy brand. More than 7,400 partner organizations, including 57% of the Fortune 100® participate in the ENERGY STAR program.
  • An estimated 2.2 million jobs are attributed to employment in the energy efficiency field.
  • In 2015 alone, U.S. businesses cumulatively saved $3.4 billion on utility bills through the ENERGY STAR buildings program. Families and businesses have saved more than $430 billion dollars in utility bills since the program’s start.