Why Cenergistic Invests in ENERGY STAR
By Jan Noel-Smith, CIAQP,
Strategic Communications Director
As we’re preparing our annual submission for ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence, I began to reflect on my last nearly 20 years with Cenergistic (formerly Energy Education) and our history with the ENERGY STAR® program.
For years, we’ve encouraged clients to become ENERGY STAR partners. The ENERGY STAR program offers a wealth of free resources for any organization or individual — energy savings guidance, communications tools, webinars, appliance and equipment ENERGY STAR certification and much more.
In addition, ENERGY STAR supplies a goal, benchmark and third-party validation of our efforts to help clients operate healthier, more efficient buildings. It’s not just Cenergistic or the client saying we’ve succeeded — the United States Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR program certifies it!
And Cenergistic’s clients have been very successful with ENERGY STAR:
- Cenergistic clients have earned more than 12,480 ENERGY STAR Certifications since 2000. Some of them have earned hundreds of Certifications because they continue to re-certify buildings annually. Among our top earners:
- Mansfield Independent School District, Texas, has earned 445 ENERGY STAR Certifications since implementing Cenergistic’s program
- San Bernardino City Unified School District, California, 384
- Pinellas County School District, Largo, Florida, 362
- Johns County School District, St. Augustine, Florida, 220
- Fort Worth Independent School District, Texas, 209
- Sioux City Community Schools, Iowa, 133
- Polk County School Board, Bartow, Florida, 116
- Warren County Schools, Kentucky, 104
- Jefferson County Board of Education, Alabama, 88
- Nebo School District, Utah, 77
- A number of clients have earned ENERGY STAR’s top recognitions:
- 2014 & 2015 Partner of the Year; 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award — Mansfield Independent School District, Texas
- 2019, 2020 and 2021 Partner of the Year Award — Pinellas County Schools, Florida
- 2021 Partner of the Year Award — Parkway School District, Missouri
- 2015 Partner of the Year Award — Cherokee County Schools, North Carolina
- 2010 Congregation Award — Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas
- 2010 Congregation Award — First Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida
- 2009 Partner of the Year — Whitefish Bay School District, Wisconsin
- 2009 Congregation Award — First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas
- 2009 Congregation Award — Cross Church, Springdale, Arkansas
(formerly First Baptist Church and Shiloh Christian School and The Church at Pinnacle Hills)
- 2007 Congregation Award — Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas
Many Cenergistic clients boast the first or only K12 ENERGY STAR Certifications in the state. Many clients have the most ENERGY STAR Building Certifications in their respective states. And they earn recognition not just for K12 schools — clients have earned ENERGY STAR Building Certifications for offices, hospitals, courthouses, warehouses, university dorms and worship facilities.
For years, Cenergistic has employed licensed professional engineers to review ENERGY STAR Certification applications, saving clients an average $1,500 per building. We’ve trained our consultants to input data and measure ventilation and lighting levels to ensure client buildings meet ENERGY STAR Certification benchmarks. And we’ve made this part of our core service, without adding fees.
I’m proud that Cenergistic has invested so heavily in assisting our clients in becoming ENERGY STAR partners and earning ENERGY STAR recognitions.
I’m proud that so many years ago we began encouraging clients to use ENERGY STAR’s PortfolioManager® Tool as an additional verification of the work we were doing together.
It’s a simple answer — it’s the right thing to do.
According to ENERGY STAR, there are eight primary reasons to pursue ENERGY STAR Certification, and each one helps Cenergistic and its customers in their respective missions:
- ENERGY STAR Certified buildings have lower utility bills — Cenergistic was founded to help clients save on expected energy costs by optimizing systems and schedules while improving comfort for occupants.
- ENERGY STAR Certified buildings generate 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions — since we began tracking greenhouse gas emissions, our clients have saved the equivalent of the CO2 emissions for more than 4.4 million homes in a single year. And with more than $6.3 billion saved in the last 35 years, consider how that amount of greenhouse gas could have affected our planet!
- ENERGY STAR Certified buildings are well-positioned to respond to benchmarking and performance mandates — Most Cenergistic clients are public entities and are expected to be good stewards of energy use and related costs. By actively working to conserve energy wherever possible, they’re demonstrating their good stewardship of financial and natural resources. And by using ENERGY STAR benchmarks, they’re able to publicly share their efforts and compare to peers across the nation.
- ENERGY STAR Certified buildings are worth more — while Cenergistic clients are not in the real estate business, they have an obligation to preserve their property value. For them, ENERGY STAR benchmarks their operation at a lower energy cost per square foot than peers, an asset for any organization.
- ENERGY STAR Certified buildings have higher occupancy rates and command higher rents — while Cenergistic clients have little concern in this area, for those that do lease facility space to others, this feature can be a real boon.
- Federal tenants can only lease space in ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings — important information for any building manager with space to let.
- ENERGY STAR Certified buildings get better financing terms — when approaching the community for bond or levy approval, it is important for an organization to demonstrate good stewardship of existing properties.
- 75% of millennials want to work for an environmentally-responsible organization — displaying ENERGY STAR Certification is like the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for buildings. Millennials may not have heard of that seal, but they’re more likely to recognize the ENERGY STAR logo and appreciate its value.
And there’s another excellent benefit to becoming an ENERGY STAR Partner and seeking recognition: it’s FREE! There is no cost to partner, and ENERGY STAR makes a variety of tools and resources available, including its PortfolioManager® tool, which helps many commercial buildings in municipalities with required energy use reporting. Most organizations must pay a licensed professional engineer or registered architect to verify applications for ENERGY STAR Certification — averaging around $1,500 per building annually. Cenergistic includes these services in our standard program.
And we’ve only skimmed the surface of the ENERGY STAR program benefits. Take a few minutes today to consider the value of partnering with ENERGY STAR and Cenergistic. You could be operating healthier, more efficient buildings, receive national recognition and increase the value of your building portfolio while making occupants more comfortable. That’s a lot to consider. And where’s the downside? ENERGY STAR and Cenergistic make economic and social sense. Call on Cenergistic today to explore the possibilities for your organization.