A pilot program to further improve commercial building energy efficiency was recently announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Building Performance with Energy Star program will help utilities and state energy efficiency programs achieve increased energy savings and fight climate change by pursuing whole building energy improvements with their business customers, the EPA says.

Elements of the program include measuring energy use with EPA’s online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager, to score building performance; approaching energy efficiency opportunities in light of findings from whole building assessments; and creating a robust delivery network for whole building efficiency services.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion a year, the EPA says.

The pilot program is being launched with Energy Star partners Commonwealth Edison, Mass Save, MidAmerican, National Grid, New Jersey's Clean Energy Program, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and Focus on Energy.