Four JCPenney stores are the first retail buildings in the country to earn the Energy Star label for superior energy efficiency and environmental performance. Compared to similar stores nationwide, the JCPenney stores collectively spend almost a quarter of $1 million less per year on energy, and avoid over 3 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, equal to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity use of nearly 200 homes.
"JCPenney, a 2007 Energy Star partner of the year, is once again demonstrating that what is best for the environment can be best for your wallet," said Bob Meyers, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation.
Of the almost 5 million commercial buildings in the United States, retail buildings account for the largest energy bills and are responsible for the second largest percentage of greenhouse gas emissions. With the recent availability of the Energy Star label for retail buildings, retailers can pursue significant savings in energy costs while fighting climate change.
Washington State is home to the four Energy Star JCPenney stores in the towns of Puyallup, Vancouver, Bellevue and Burlington. In total, these stores cover approximately 460,000 square feet and, on average, use about 35 percent less energy than typical retail stores nationwide, resulting in about 35 percent less CO2 emissions than retail stores in their region.
As of Oct. 1, 2007, retail buildings can qualify for the Energy Star label if they rate in the top 25 percent of similar retail buildings nationwide. With EPA's Portfolio Manager, an on-line energy performance rating system, the energy performance of four billion square feet of retail space and more than 400,000 retail buildings can be tracked and assessed.
Retail buildings that are eligible for the Energy Star label include department stores, discount stores, supercenters, warehouse clubs, drugstores, dollar stores and home improvement centers/hardware, and apparel/hard line specialty shops (i.e. books, clothing, office products, toys, home goods). In addition to retail, many other types of commercial and industrial buildings can earn the Energy Star label, including offices, bank branches, financial centers, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, warehouses, auto assembly plants, petroleum refineries, cement plants and wet corn mills.
Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 50 different kinds of products, new homes and commercial and industrial buildings. Products and buildings that have earned the Energy Star designation prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved about $14 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 25 million vehicles.
For more information about the Energy Star for retail buildings: http://www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings