The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of an upgrade to its online energy management and tracking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The upgraded tool can help businesses achieve President Barack Obama’s call to make commercial buildings at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. The new Energy Star Portfolio Manager delivers a more user-friendly interface and comes with enhanced data sharing capabilities, better reporting, and for the first time, the ability to manage buildings across their lifecycle from design through occupancy, according to an EPA release.

Tens of thousands of organizations—including school districts, retail chains, hospital systems, and local governments—currently use Energy Star Portfolio Manager to measure the energy performance, water use, utility costs, and greenhouse gas emissions of more than 40 percent of the nation’s commercial building space.

According to the announcement, Energy Star certified buildings use, on average, 35 percent less energy and generate 35 percent fewer GHG emissions than typical buildings. Studies have shown that they have lower operating costs, increased asset value and higher occupancy rates.