Five Ways to Begin Energy Benchmarking
What is Energy Benchmarking:
Building energy benchmarking, simply put, refers to a systemic and continuous process of reviewing your building’s ongoing energy consumption to determine how optimally it’s functioning. It can be internal- measuring the building’s present performance to the past or it could be external, which involves comparing two buildings or more altogether.
Regardless of the type, the data studied motivated owners and occupants to strive for improvement.
It facilitates in identifying the poorly performing buildings, establishing a baseline for measuring the improvement, enhancing a competitive spirit through comparison.
Moreover, it is also in many ways an initial step towards partaking in green compliance for studying the building’s energy consumption probes the required interventions to make it energy-efficient and ultimately enjoy the credibility that comes with various certifications.
How It Works
Energy benchmarking essentially involves tools like ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, internal or external data is collected, following which the data is verified to ensure reliability and accuracy.
Energy benchmarking is becoming mandatory with grappling threats of climate change that have only blown outpost the pandemic. Therefore, it is wiser and safer to participate and invest in energy benchmarking and reap the benefits.
5 ways to get started
1. Make an energy benchmarking plan
This shall help you deal with uncertainties and initial confusion. Begin with explicitly stating the purpose of your and goals for your benchmarking plan along with mentioning the intended audience for the results.
The audience could be clients, management, investors, etc. The next step is to pick your metrics which will be necessary to communicate the results clearly and also finalizing how to proceed with data collection. We also recommend having a separate team with individual role clarity devoted to benchmarking. Further, let the team determine the benchmarking tool & software they’re comfortable with. Also, determine the verification process (that’s been explained above) beforehand.
2. Utilize the available resources
The most widely used energy benchmarking tools are ENERGY STAR and GRESB. Both their websites provide excellent sources and information related to energy benchmarking.
However, there are numerous other benchmarking tools, guidelines, and standards all of which are offered upon downloading the EnergyWatch E-book.
3) Use energy benchmarking software
Energy benchmarking is a long-drawn and comprehensive process for managing a company’s energy usage and keeping tabs on the utility bills for it is a complex job and requires round-the-clock attention. This is unachievable without the assistance of certain reliable software.
EnergyWatch’s watch was platform offers a platform for energy management & benchmarking in order to comply with the policies as mandated in Local Law 84. It also collects and monitors the data making sure it’s detailed, consistent, and accurate.
4) Compare Energy Performance
Once your building is benchmarked, it creates an annual energy performance baseline against which future energy assessments are made. This facilitated further evaluation and goal setting. Many benchmarking systems generate ratings on their own comparing to similar building types.
5) Lastly, Engage in Energy Efficiency
This also involves the tenants in tenant-occupied buildings as they essentially consume more than half of the total energy used within the building. Tenant sensitization and involvement is tricky but crucial as building professionals may have limited influence over their behavior.
NYC Local Law 84, introduced in 2009 mandates buildings over 50,000 square feet or groups of buildings on a single lot larger than 100,000 square feet to partake in ‘energy benchmarking’ – to annually measure, track, and report the energy & water consumption. This is done to facilitate a comparative understanding of the building’s energy usage.
It is one of the four plans part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan and it easily applies to at least more than 16,000 buildings in NYC