What Are New Energy Star Metrics?

This year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had planned to release an updated version of its ENERGY STAR® certification program’s scoring system, but put its plans on ice after an outcry from businesses and homeowners.


The EPA’s ENERGY STAR program rates the energy performance of commercial and institutional buildings and facilities. These ratings run on a scale from 1-100 and can be used to benchmark the energy efficiency of buildings and industrial plants against the average energy performance of comparable structures. These metrics are also used to determine if a building qualifies for ENERGY STAR status.

Outdated Rating System

The current energy rating system is based on data from 2007, making the existing standards over 15 years old. The proposed update would alter the energy efficiency rating of countless buildings and, in many instances, substantially lower their scores.

Change of Plans

In October 2018, the EPA announced that it was pausing its program’s facelift in response to outcry from business and property owners across the country. Because of the age of the old metrics, many buildings that were awarded the coveted ENERGY STAR designation would lose it under the new metrics. This would likely present a hit to their bottom lines, as many tenants and business owners today look to rent apartments and office buildings with the ENERGY STAR designation.

Potential Effects of the ENERGY STAR Scoring System Overhaul

If the EPA does decide to release the new version of this program, most scores will go down. This does not mean that the energy performance of any particular home or facility has gone down, but simply reflects that the average building in its category is today more energy efficient, owing to the fact that construction and electrical technologies have improved in the 15 years since the program was implemented.