The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the signing of a new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). The agreement recommits the two agencies to continued collaboration on new enhancements to EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool — a free, online energy, water, waste, and emissions measurement and tracking platform for commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings. To date, more than 26,000 Canadian buildings have used the tool to measure and track their energy use — equivalent to one-third of commercial space in Canada.

“Improving energy efficiency in buildings is essential to achieving our ambitious climate targets,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “Today’s agreement with Natural Resources Canada will continue a 10-year research partnership between our agencies, empowering American and Canadian building owners to reduce energy use, save on costs, and cut climate pollution.” 

“Canada and the United States are doubling down on climate action,” said the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “This agreement is another step we’re taking together towards a net-zero future.”

EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool is the industry standard for measuring and tracking energy performance within commercial buildings, in use by more than 275,000 buildings, which comprise one-quarter of all U.S. commercial building floorspace. The tool provides dozens of energy performance metrics and some buildings can also receive a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score, which rates energy performance relative to similar buildings.

The signing of this agreement builds on the unique relationship between the United States and Canada — which also supports collaboration on ENERGY STAR products, homes, and industrial plants — and will further enhance cooperation in commercial building energy efficiency. EPA first started collaborating on commercial building efficiency with NRCan in 2011, enhancing Portfolio Manager with metrics, data and content specific to Canadian buildings.

The new agreement will enable continued enhancements to Portfolio Manager to benefit Canadian stakeholders, including new 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR scores for the most common building types in Canada, a new greenhouse gas emission comparison feature and updated Canadian metrics and French content. These enhancements will also benefit U.S. companies that own or manage buildings in Canada as well as consultants who support owners in both countries.

Commercial buildings account for nearly half of all energy consumption in the United States at a cost of more than $300 billion per year, more than any other sector of the economy. An EPA study of 35,000 buildings shows that buildings that benchmark their energy use on a regular basis reduce their energy consumption by 2.4% per year.

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