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Natural Resources Canada
2011/116
November 9, 2011

Governments of Canada and United States Harmonize Approach to Save Energy in Commercial Buildings


OTTAWA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) have signed an agreement that will create a common platform for measuring and assessing the energy performance of commercial buildings in both countries. The agreement will harmonize the approach of the two countries by enhancing EPA’s existing ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager software tool to track and rate the energy performance of Canadian commercial buildings, in addition to buildings in the U.S.

“Energy benchmarking is an important aspect of an effective strategy to improve energy efficiency in buildings, because what gets measured gets done,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “This agreement is another example of how we are working with the U.S., through the Clean Energy Dialogue, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.”

“This agreement between EPA and NRCan is part of a broad commitment to working together on energy efficiency, an important element of cleaning the air and securing our energy future,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We are glad that Canada selected EPA’s Portfolio Manager tool to support their national energy management program for existing commercial and institutional buildings and we look forward to the benefits this new partnership will create for the health of our families, for our economy and for our shared environment.”

The Clean Energy Dialogue was established by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama as a bilateral mechanism to strengthen collaboration on clean energy technology and innovation. Through the Clean Energy Dialogue, Canada and the U.S. are accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy while enhancing energy security and revitalizing the economy by creating jobs in this emerging sector.

With a database of more than 250,000 buildings, representing nearly 27 billion square feet of commercial and institutional building space in the U.S., the popular Portfolio Manager tool provides both governments with solid, measurable information on energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions from commercial buildings.

Recent surveys show that there is a higher demand for energy-efficient buildings, with the most efficient commanding rental rates that are, on average, three percent higher per square foot and selling at prices that are typically 16 percent higher than other similar buildings.

Through the agreement, important enhancements will be made to Portfolio Manager, including the development of a Canadian-based energy performance scale and the addition of Canadian reference data (weather, energy and emissions factors, and metric units). The tool will also be available in both official languages.

The agreement, developed under the U.S. Federal Technology Transfer Act, took effect on October 1, 2011, and will run through March 30, 2016.

Information on NRCan’s program is available at http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/corporate/8803.

More information on EPA’s program is available at http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/index.cfm?c=business.bus_index.


Media may contact:

Patricia Best
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

EPA press contact:

Molly Hooven               
Hooven.Molly@epa.gov
202-564-2313
202-564-4344

The general public may contact:

Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)

E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca     

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media-room/home/1784.