The Institute for Sustainable Energy has been working with the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool to help communities, schools, and state office buildings operators measure their energy performance. Benchmarking energy consumption in buildings means comparing how much energy is actually used in a building to a national database of buildings. Improve the energy performance of your building by benchmarking your building's energy performance over time in comparison with others, and by implementing cost effective changes to reduce consumption.
Some of the benefits of benchmarking include:
- Prioritize investments in your building portfolio. Identify the top performers and the best candidates for upgrades.
- Determine potential savings . Compare a benchmarking score to a "target score" to show the energy savings potential of raising efficiency.
- Monitor changes over time . Evaluate the effectiveness of changes in equipment or management techniques.
- Demonstrate proactive management of energy issues . Answer questions about energy use from upper management, outside vendors, investors, or local government agencies.
- Receive positive publicity . Documenting a building's improved energy efficiency or reduced energy consumption communicates an environmentally-friendly image.
The Portfolio Benchmarking Tool calculates an energy-efficiency score on a scale of 1 to 100, where a score of 50 is average for US buildings. The score is adjusted for key operating variables including building size, occupant density, operating hours, plug loads, climate, and weather. The resulting score indicates how a building's energy efficiency compares, considering the operating variables to similar facilities nationally. A score of 60 for a building in the US , for example, would signify efficiency better than 60 percent of comparable buildings.
The Institute for Sustainable Energy has already completed projects with a number of cities in Connecticut . Our goal is for all cities and towns in Connecticut to be able to evaluate their buildings. This will help Connecticut communities achieve the Connecticut climate change action plan goals and provide valuable information to help identify facilities in need of both O & M and capital improvements. It will also help with rewarding communities by providing a mechanism that will help in building and maintaining facilities at efficiency levels that are nationally recognized at the ENERGY STAR levels.
The Institute for Sustainable Energy received the 2004 ENERGY STAR Partner of the year award for from the EPA for our benchmarking efforts. We will be offering this program to cities and towns in Connecticut over the next 5 years. It will provide valuable services to municipal officials in this time of budget crisis and cost containment. If you have any questions you can contact William Leahy at the Institute for Sustainable Energy at 860-465-0251.
For more information about Benchmarking, click HERE.