National competition seeks winner with most energy efficient improvements

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  launched their third annual Energy Star National Building Competition (NBC) on Wednesday, marking the biggest year yet for the green initiative.

The NBC is aimed at honoring an existing structure that has made the most energy efficient improvements to its design over the span of almost a year.

More than 3,200 buildings will be participating in this year's competition, the largest number of applicants yet to take partake in the initiative.

In 2010, the first year of the competition, only 14 buildings from across the nation had submitted to the months-long evaluation process, which monitors energy efficient upgrades to over 30 different types of commercial structures.

For the second year of the NBC, the number of applicants grew to 245 for the 2011 competition. This year the trend continued, and includes buildings in all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C. and U.S. territories like Puerto Rico.

"We wish the best to the thousands of teams competing, but we know the big winners will be the American people, who will benefit from the innovative ideas that emerge from the competition," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in a press release.

The winner of last year's competition was the University of Florida, which reduced the energy consumption in a parking garage on its campus by more than 63 percent during the year-long span.

Though the deadline for submissions to this year's competition has come and gone, the chance to improve the energy efficiency in your commercial space is always there. By getting a home inspection and an energy audit, you can help the EPA in its goal to reduce the nation's power consumption.