Decorah’s Local Energy Star Buildings Shine Brightly

You’ve probably seen those yellow Energy Star labels on appliances, but did you know that entire buildings can also be awarded an Energy Star designation?

Through 2012, the following seven buildings in Decorah have received this recognition, the first five through assistance from Winneshiek Energy District, an Energy Star Partner.

  • First Lutheran Church
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
  • First United Methodist Church of Decorah
  • Erdman Engineering
  • Ace Hardware
  • Oneota Community Coop
  • Decorah Bank and Trust
  • JC Penny


“We had no idea about Energy Star for buildings until we worked with the Energy District on efficiency improvements” said Karla Erdman, of Erdman Engineering. “They helped us enter and analyze the data, and then go through the Energy Star application process. We’re thrilled that our building is being recognized for the energy improvements we’ve made, and we have seen savings on our utility bills too!”

The Energy District is promoting Energy Star building certification throughout Winneshiek County. THERE’S NO GOOD REASON WE CAN’T HAVE MORE ENERGY STAR BUILDINGS PER CAPITA IN WINNESHIEK COUNTY THAN ANY OTHER COUNTY IN THE COUNTRY!

For a building to qualify it must rank in the top 25% of energy use per square foot for its building type and climate zone. Not all building types are eligible, but for those that are it is a tremendous opportunity for ‘benchmarking’ (seeing how you rank), recognition, and sharing with your peers.

The Energy Star evaluation and application process begins with the entry of building and energy use data, and the Energy District is looking for more interested building owners. For a limited time the District can offer these services for a low fee thanks to help from the Iowa Energy Center. The process (as required by Energy Star) goes something like this:

  1. Contact the Energy District to discuss your building type, location, and current level of energy efficiency
  2. If you’re eligible and appear to be a good candidate, we’ll facilitate the initial data entry and evaluation to see if you qualify
  3. if you qualify and want to move forward with an application we’ll generate the necessary forms and arrange for the certification of your submitted data by a local licensed professional
  4. We’ll submit your application to Energy Star and if approved, work with you on outreach – you will have earned some bragging rights!
  5. The fee for Energy District facilitation is currently a discounted $200, which includes the services of a licensed professional for data certification

Contact us to learn more, or go to the Energy Star web site for the nitty gritty details.

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