Ways everyone can benchmark performance

The 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score is just one way to benchmark the performance of your building. Benchmarking — or comparing your performance to something similar — can help give context to your results. No matter your building type, you can use Portfolio Manager to compare your performance against:

Let’s take a closer look at each of these benchmarks below.

National medians

EPA is always working to develop 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR scores for additional segments of the commercial building market. For those buildings that currently aren’t eligible to receive a score, EPA’s created a list of reference energy performance targets based on 2003 CBECS National Median Source Energy Use and Performance Comparisons by Building Type, the most recent published data available.

These are based on median energy use calculated across different types of buildings. Unlike the 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score, these energy performance targets aren’t normalized for climate or adjusted for activities that may affect energy use. However, you can use them to see if you’re performing better or worse than the median. All targets are expressed in energy use intensity (EUI) and are derived from the U.S. Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey.

Similar buildings in your portfolioChart comparing the energy use of 10 different Fire Stations

Portfolio Manager enables you to select from 18 broad categories and 86 different functions to describe your building. This makes it easy for you to identify and compare similar buildings within your portfolio (or a shared portfolio, if you’re participating in one).

Group buildings by function, size, location, metering scenario…whatever makes the most sense to you. Then compare them by weather-normalized energy use intensity, costs, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, or another performance indicator of your choice.

Past performance

You can also compare your current performance to your past performance, to see if energy use has been creeping up over time — or jumped unexpectedly due to an undiagnosed problem. Compare any two 12-month periods to track changes over time.

Target performance

You can also set different targets: a target 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score, a target percentage better than median, or a target percentage improvement relative to your baseline energy use. Then track how your building is performing against your goal.

Sustainable Buildings Checklist

The Federal Guiding Principles for High Performance Sustainable Buildings are required by law for implementation across U.S. government buildings. But anyone can use the Sustainable Buildings Checklist that’s built into Portfolio Manager to compare buildings against these guiding principles.

The checklist explains each guiding principle to let you track your sustainability in five areas:

  • Design
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Environmental quality
  • Materials