LOS ANGELES – The JCPenney Store located at 2200 N. Tustin, Orange, Calif., is among the top three winners of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Building Competition. The competition, launched on April 27, 2010, challenged teams from 14 buildings across the country to measure their building’s energy use and reduce waste with help from the Energy Star program.

"The amazing results of the first-ever National Building Competition prove that any building can take simple steps to slash energy use, save thousands of dollars and protect the environment," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Our top participants together saved more than a million dollars by cutting energy use, and that's just in the first year. We look forward to seeing even greater savings and energy innovations in the years ahead."

The JCPenney Store – which came in third - is part of a group of 63 JCPenney stores that participate in the company’s Advanced Energy Management Program, which stresses a focus on energy awareness on both the facility maintenance and store associate level. The store has achieved an energy reduction of 28.4%.

The Morrison Residence Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won first prize, reducing its energy use by 35.7 percent in one year. A Sears store in Glen Burnie, Md., came in second place with a 31.7 percent energy reduction.

Together, the 14 competitors reduced their energy use by more than 44 million kBtu, saved $950,000 in utility bills, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to those from the electricity use of approximately 600 homes for a year.

The National Building Competition measured energy performance from September 1, 2009, through August 31, 2010. The energy use of each building was monitored through EPA’s Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. Buildings were evaluated on the greatest percentage-based reduction in energy consumed by a building relative to its size and adjusted to account for changes in weather. Third-party utility statements were required at the conclusion of the competition to verify the energy performance of each competitor.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. On average, 30 percent of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. Thousands of businesses and organizations work with the EPA’s Energy Star program and are saving billions of dollars and preventing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere each year. Many of the methods used by each of these facilities to reduce their energy usage can be easily adopted by all types of facilities across the nation.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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