ENERGY STAR Update
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Monday, November 7, 2011

Portfolio Manager Improvements Effective November 7, 2011

Updated ENERGY STAR Scale for Hospitals

Effective November 7, 2011, an updated ENERGY STAR scale will be available for Hospitals. This revised scale reflects new reference data for the year 2008, which was collected in 2010 through a survey conducted by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE). This is the most current data available for hospitals. As a result of this updated analysis the official definition and description of Hospital will be modified to reflect the range of services observed within the updated reference data. The available Hospital category will change from "Hospital (Acute Care and Children’s)" to "Hospital (General Medical and Surgical)".

The new ENERGY STAR scale will be used for hospitals (whether comprised of a single building or a campus of buildings) that provide primarily acute care services intended to treat patients for short periods of time, and which typically include a combination of emergency medical care, physician’s office services, diagnostic care, ambulatory care, surgical care, and limited specialty services such as rehabilitation and cancer care. Long-term care hospitals that are certified as acute care hospitals are not eligible under this definition. Ambulatory surgical centers, specialty hospitals (such as psychiatric, rehabilitation, cancer centers, etc.) and other types of long-term care facilities should benchmark under the "Other" space type category.

Requirements

In order to receive an ENERGY STAR score, you will be required to enter 12 consecutive months of measured energy use for all fuel types and the following four operational parameters:

  • Gross floor area
  • Full-time Equivalent (FTE) Workers
  • Number of Staffed Beds
  • Number of MRI Machines

When the updates are released on November 7, 2011, existing "Hospital (Acute Care and Children’s)" spaces will be converted automatically to the updated "Hospital (General Medical and Surgical)" space type. Default values will be provided for all new required attributes, which will enable you to continue receiving an ENERGY STAR score. Please log-in to Portfolio Manager on or after November 7, 2011 to update these defaults with actual values for your hospital to receive the most accurate score, keeping in mind that buildings using default values are not eligible to apply for ENERGY STAR certification.

New and Revised Optional Inputs for the Multifamily Space Type

Effective November 7, 2011, three new optional Multifamily attributes (e.g. operational parameters) will be available in Portfolio Manager. These are being added to allow EPA to gather additional information that will contribute to our analysis of energy use patterns in multifamily buildings. In addition, four existing attributes will have revised names, and one will be removed. Because these attributes are optional, these changes will not affect the calculation of any metrics within Portfolio Manager. The three new attributes are:

  • Primary Hot Water Fuel Type (users will select from a list of fuels)
  • Resident Population Type (users will select from a pre-populated list)
  • Government Subsidized Housing (users will select Yes or No)

The attribute revisions and deletions are as follows:

Previous Attribute NameNew Attribute Name
Total number of occupied and unoccupied apartment units in the buildingTotal number of units
Total number of bedrooms in the buildingTotal number of bedrooms
Maximum number of floorsMaximum number of floors in the tallest building/tower
Total number of dishwashers in each unitTotal number of dishwashers located in all units
Indicate whether the facility is affordable housing or market rate housingNone – Will be removed

New "Other – Automobile Dealership" Space Type

Effective November 7, 2011, a new sub-category, "Other-Automobile Dealership" will be added within the Other space type in Portfolio Manager. You are encouraged to use this new designation to benchmark any commercial properties used for the sale of new or used vehicles, including automobiles, light trucks, and passenger vans. The designation is intended for both new and used vehicles and can be used to describe all functions in the building, such as showrooms, repair facilities, or administrative areas.

New National Median Benchmarks

Effective November 7, 2011, EPA will introduce new National Median performance targets within Portfolio Manager. The median value represents the middle of a distribution: half of the buildings have better energy use intensity (EUI) values while the others have worse EUIs.

The new National Median performance targets will replace the National Average values that are currently in Portfolio Manager. That is, for all instances where a national average is currently displayed, the value will be replaced with a National Median. EPA is making this change because the National Median has been determined to be a better benchmark point of comparison for existing buildings.

New Meter Configuration Option

Effective November 7, 2011, a new option “Combination of Tenant and Common Area Consumption” will be added for the Metering Configuration. This new option will enable users to make multiple selections from eight different types of energy: Tenant Heating, Tenant Cooling, Tenant Hot Water, Tenant Plug Load/Electricity, Common Area Heating, Common Area Cooling, Common Area Hot Water, Common Area Plug Load/Electricity. By enabling you to select all options that apply, this new configuration type will allow for greater specification of the types of energy covered and reported within your building.

Revised Emissions Factors

Effective November 7, 2011, EPA will be updating the emissions factors that are used to compute a building’s greenhouse emissions. The update is being performed to include the most current information available to EPA for some of the power plants and eGRID regions. Buildings in these areas may see changes in their calculated emissions values.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact buildings@energystar.gov.