MEP CA AB 1103

Energy Treasure Hunts

As part of ENERGY STAR’s initiative to promote energy efficiency in buildings, the annual Energy Treasure Hunt campaign was started to uncover the untapped potential for energy savings in commercial and industrial facilities nationwide. As part of an Energy Treasure Hunt, teams walk around a facility looking for quick ways to save energy. The quick fixes found in these hunts can add up to big savings–last year alone, 168 teams found nearly $38 million in savings thanks to the Treasure Hunts.

So, you may be wondering: how do I reap these benefits for myself? Well, the process is simple.
Step 1: Plan and execute a treasure hunt.
Step 2: Submit a summary of your findings and savings to Energy Star by January 2021 and enjoy the reduced energy usage and all the savings, along with recognition from Energy Star.

The Treasure Map looks different for every type of building or plant you’re exploring, but the general idea is the same for them all. ENERGY STAR provides the Treasure Map for various types of commercial buildings and industrial plants and you have the freedom to add or modify the list to suit your own needs.

Here are some examples of what the Treasure Map for Office Buildings looks like:

  1. Facility Management
    1. Are the facility energy management plan and operations and maintenance plan up to date?

    2. Have you considered daytime cleaning in order to reduce the hours the space is occupied?

  2. Lighting
    1. Where are lights being left on in unoccupied spaces?

    2. Are automated lighting controls being taken advantage of?

    3. Can reflectors be practically added to existing lighting?

    4. Can lighting options be upgraded to be more energy-efficient?

  3. Building Envelope
    1. Does the building have any gaps or cracks in doors and windows?

    2. Do the windows have window coverings to reduce solar heat gain and loss?

    3. Are air lock doors feasible at main entrances?

  4. Equipment/Plug Loads
    1. Is new office equipment ENERGY STAR certified?

    2. Is equipment–including computers, printers, vending machines, personal heaters and fans–being turned off when not in use and outside office hours?

    3. If the use of personal heaters and fans is widespread, is there a broader hot/cold issue to be addressed at the system level?

  5. HVAC
    1. Are the HVAC components being maintained regularly?

    2. Are the proper additional HVAC opportunities being taken advantage of, such as heat recovery, demand-controlled ventilation, occupancy sensors, CO2 monitoring, air-side economizers, and hot water reheat coils?

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a few team members, make a plan, and tap into all the energy-savings awaiting you.

Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from reaching these savings. Many steps of the process can be done in a virtual setting. For more information about Energy Treasure Hunts during COVID-19, visit

And for more information and resources on the Energy Treasure Hunts as a whole, visit