What is Benchmarking?
What is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is the process of comparing energy performance to something similar. This could mean something external, like comparing one facility to a similar facility, or internally measuring your own energy performance against the same time period the previous year. Benchmarking is a vital part of building energy management because, as the saying goes, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” The standard benchmarking tool used in Connecticut is ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, an online tool that compares the energy and water use of a building to its peers, providing much more information than just raw numbers.
The Value of Benchmarking
- Compare your building’s energy performance to other similar buildings – Compare to other buildings in your municipal portfolio; compare to similar buildings throughout Connecticut; and compare to similar buildings nationally. Use this information to prioritize facility upgrades, using limited funds where they will provide the greatest payback.
- Manage energy use – Use energy data to help control energy use and identify energy and cost-savings measures. Connect to Energize Connecticut Programs that will help you finance and implement energy efficiency upgrades and savings.
- Track energy use – Track energy use and costs for each of your buildings over time, including reductions resulting from energy improvements. Use this information to document savings and report back to the Town Council, Board of Education, taxpayers, etc.
- Manage, track, and compare water use – EPA’s Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool allows you to track both energy and water use for each municipal building.
ISE Interns and Benchmarking
At ISE, our student interns gain experience with benchmarking by analyzing energy data from schools, colleges, universities and state buildings. They learn how to check data for errors, interpret what it means for that particular building and upload it into Portfolio Manager. Benchmarking helps to create a picture of what is happening in a particular building that is then verified through a building energy walkthrough and applied to the actual mechanical systems, structure and operation of the building.
ISE has trained many students and state agency and municipal staff throughout Connecticut to perform energy benchmarking and is available to help other universities and colleges train students in the use of Portfolio Manager. For assistance in using student interns in energy benchmarking, please contact us.
Benchmarking and Energy Savings
ISE has benchmarked over 900 buildings in Connecticut. Our experience with both benchmarking and building walkthroughs has helped many schools, colleges, universities, municipalities and state buildings to reduce their energy consumption and save money. After helping our clients understand their energy use profiles and identifying energy savings opportunities, we connect them with the many state energy efficiency incentive programs to implement actions and achieve energy reductions. Contact us for assistance.