Energy and Water Benchmarking
Benchmarking is the process in which a numerical value (adjusted for building size and location) that represents overall energy use is assigned to a given building. This value can then be compared to either other buildings in an owner or developer’s portfolio or similar buildings within the same region.
Portfolio Manager is a Benchmarking Tool provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency and available on the Energy Star website, which is widely used throughout the country. It is required by local ordinances in San Francisco and New York City, as well as in national programs such as Energy Star and LEED. The tool was substantially upgraded in July 2013, offering new ways to characterize and track properties, including a robust set of standard and customizable graphical reports, improved functionality for sharing data with others, and a user-friendly interface that makes the whole process easier.
Benchmarking a building at regular intervals is an excellent tool for the savvy building or portfolio owner/manager to monitor its annual energy performance, allowing building owners and operators to track energy usage over time, assess the effect of energy retrofits, and identify issues indicated by abnormal usage. An efficiently operating building can reduce operating expenses, making the property more profitable and more attractive to residential or commercial occupants, and can help managers keep affordable housing affordable.
AEA trains owners and managers to use the Portfolio Manager tool to benchmark the energy and water use of their properties, and also provides direct benchmarking services to those seeking to procure this service.