What is an Energy Benchmark Report?
An energy benchmark report measures the energy used per square foot by your building and compares the energy-use intensity (EUI) of your building against similar-use buildings (i.e. retail, office, etc.) adjusted for business operations (i.e. hours of operation, number of employees, etc.) and weather zone.
Energy Use Intensity (EUI) is expressed in kBtu/sq. ft. This provides a common energy measurement to allow gas usage, often measured in therms, to be added to electrical usage, often measured in kWh, to be added to together to calculate total energy use.
The ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager can assign a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score so you can readily understand how your building’s energy consumption measures up against similar buildings nationwide. The ENERGY STAR score allows everyone to quickly understand how a building is performing.
ENERGY STAR is a simple but powerful tool. Based on actual, measured data, the ENERGY STAR score assesses how your building is performing as a whole: its assets, its operations, and how the people inside use it. Are you open 24 hours? Do you have a high density of workers? The ENERGY STAR score is tailored to account for how your building works in the real world.
A score of 50 represents median energy performance. Half of the buildings use more energy per square foot and half use less. If your building earns a score of at least 75 (meaning that it is in the top quartile of similar buildings in the national database) it may qualify for ENERGY STAR certification, which has value in the real estate world. Not all buildings can be assigned a score of 1-100, however, over 20 types of buildings can receive this simple measurement.* There IS value to benchmarking beyond just satisfying benchmarking ordinances. For more information about the advantages of benchmarking and ENERGY STAR certification go to What is ENERGY STAR Certification?
How is the Benchmark Report Prepared?
All of the benchmark ordinances in California require the use of the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to prepare and file the energy benchmark reports with the governing agency. It requires that you enter the information about your building such as type of use, size, intensity of use, and the energy use for the reporting period.
Instead of manually entering the monthly energy-use information for each meter for 12 months, your utility company can upload the data into Portfolio Manager. If you have multiple meters, your utility can aggregate the energy-use data for certain multi-tenant buildings to avoid disclosing individual tenant’s use. However, if there is an insufficient number of tenants in the building (less than 3 tenants for a commercial building), tenant authorization is required.
What does the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Cost?
The program is free, but it has a steep learning curve and is not very user-friendly. There may be a 1/2-day to 1-day class sponsored by your local utility or governing agency. Also, there is a 31-page instruction manual available, but most property owners choose to use outside expertise from specialists like Pegasus.
Many of our customers have called us after first spending many frustrating and time-consuming hours trying to prepare the report on their own. You can avoid this time and effort by calling Pegasus. We are a small business with low costs and we pass the savings on to you.
*For a list of buildings that can be scored, see the ENERGY Star Building list.
Call Pegasus for more information or to have your building benchmarked. Talk to Chuck at 415-937-5046