As part of the efforts to develop and promote better and enhanced energy practices in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Alliance (PR-EESA) announced the submissions period for “The Battle of the Buildings–Puerto Rico 2017 Edition.”
The challenge is aimed at engineers, contractors, government agencies, and professional organizations, among other entities.
“Through ‘The Battle of the Buildings- Puerto Rico’, participants form both the private and public sectors can demonstrate their leadership through their efforts to reduce the consumption of energy, water, and gas (2015 vs. 2015) in their properties,” said Jorge E. Molina, executive director for PR-EESA and host for the competition.
“The Battle – Edition 2017” is a free and voluntary competition that promotes the best practices in the efficient use of energy in commercial buildings, as well as the development of sustainability projects and initiatives in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
Participants compete amongst themselves to learn who achieved the most reduction of energy, water, and gas consumption in their respective buildings. Also, the program aims to recognize products, initiatives, and projects under the following categories: education, financing, incentives, sustainability, among others.
According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, commercial buildings in the United States consumed approximately 100 million kilowatts per hour last year. This is the equivalent to cutting 1,768, 079 trees.
In response to the lack of essential services from October through December 2017, the challenge’s rules will be modified. Under the energy, water, and gas consumption category, the jury will only consider the data for the first nine months of years 2016 and 2017.
In two years, PR-EESA has expanded the program’s reach, which now has more than 50 organizations registered under the initiative. This year, the challenge will be evaluating participants in new categories.
Just like in previous years, the program includes seminars and educational workshops, technical support services, audits, analysis tools, and monitoring, among others.
“We are pleased to confirm that, since launching the program in 2015, the interest and support of participants have grown, creating the need to expand the program and the services offered,” Molina said.
During the last two years, the popularity pf the program has increased, as well as the number of participants and registered properties. Since December 2015, there’s been an 80% increase in the number of organizations registered to participate in the competition.
The second edition of “The Battle” closed with a total of eight commercial properties submitting data. These properties represent a total of 1.8 million square-feet of commercial space with savings of more than 2.3 million kilowatts per hour (kwh), equivalent to $465,622.
In April 2017, PR–EESA recognized the Caribe Hilton Hotel, El Conquistador Resort & Spa, Casablanca Hotel, Ochoa Building, and the Government Ethics Office under the energy category. In the incentives category, the organization recognized efforts by the State Office for Energy Public Policy, the Puerto Rico Power Authority and the USDA Rural Development office. Under the education category, the Community Connection Center from the Sacred Heart University was recognized for the production of the “Energénesis” documentary. The documentary was also selected to be featured at the Rincon Film Festival, taking the Director’s Choice Award.
Winners of the 2017 edition will be announced March 30th through PR–ESSA’s social media platforms and the media. PR–EESA will also announce a series of educational events to be held during Planet Earth Week.
Winners will be recognized at a gala event “Efficiency & Sustainability Alliance Awards – 2017 Edition”, to be held at the Engineers and Surveyors Association’s amphitheater on March 24th.
Those interested in participating in the challenge have until Feb. 28th to enroll their buildings and teams. A representative for the program will contact each of the registered participants to collect the properties and projects’ data and reference information. The provided data will be evaluated by a licensed engineer in order to develop a project’s profile and a complimentary report.
To enroll a team, property or agency, please visit this website.