Eligibility criteria for the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score

You can use Portfolio Manager to measure and track the energy and water use of any building over time. However, for certain properties, you can go a step further and benchmark their energy  use relative to similar buildings nationwide.

In Portfolio Manager, this benchmark is called an ENERGY STAR score and is expressed on a scale of 1 to 100. To get an ENERGY STAR score, your property must meet several criteria related to its:

  1. Property type
  2. Property use details
  3. Energy data

1. Property type

The ENERGY STAR score compares your building to its peer group of buildings in the national population. This peer group is identified through nationally representative survey data, such as the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), a survey conducted every four years by the U.S. Department of Energy.

You have to be on the list.

To identify your building's group of peers, more than 50 percent of your building's gross floor area (excluding parking lots and garages) must be defined as one of the eligible property types. See the list of property types that are eligible to receive a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score.

The remainder of your building may house other property types, and you can still get a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score. However, that’s subject to a few restrictions:

  1. Your parking garage can’t be bigger than your building. Or in technical terms, the combined floor area of all enclosed and unenclosed parking structures can’t exceed the total gross floor area of the building.

  2. You can’t have more than 25 percent of your floor space be ineligible for a score. The combined floor area of any property use types that do not have an ENERGY STAR score (i.e., types not listed on the link above) can’t exceed 25 percent of your total floor area.

2. Property use details

You might be too short or too tall to ride.

Portfolio Manager asks you to enter data for key property use details. To be eligible to receive a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score, there are minimum and maximum thresholds for these values. These limits are designed to make sure that your building operates similarly to the peer group used for comparison. To be eligible to receive a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score, your building must meet the thresholds listed below.

Property Type Requirement (Property types must...)
All buildings
  • Be at least 5,000 square feet. There are four exceptions to this rule:
  1. Banks may be as small as 1,000 square feet
  2. Religious worship facilities may be as small as 1,000 square feet
  3. Hospitals must be at least 20,000 square feet
  4. Data centers do not have a square-foot minimum
  • Be in operation at least 30 hours per week. There are two exceptions to this rule:
  1. This does not apply to buildings that are not asked for hours of operation, such as hotels and hospitals
  2. This does not apply to religious worship facilities.
  • Have at least 1 worker during the main shift, when this is asked.
    • This does not apply to K-12 schools in the U.S., it only applies to K-12 schools in Canada.
Hospitals
  • Have at least 1 bed set up and staffed for use
Multifamily housing
  • Have at least 20 units
Municipal wastewater treatment plants
  • Have an average daily wastewater flow greater than 0.6 million gallons per day (MGD)
  • Have an average influent biological oxygen demand (BOD5) level greater than 30 and less than 1000
  • Have an average effluent BOD5 level greater than 0
Offices, bank branches, financial offices, and courthouses
  • Have at least 1 Personal Computer (PC)
Residence halls/ dormitories and barracks
  • Have at least 5 rooms
Retail stores
  • Have at least one cash register
  • Have an exterior entrance to the public
  • Be a single store only
Senior care facilities
  • Not have an average number of residents that exceeds the resident capacity
Religious worship facilities
  • Have at least 25 seats and no more than 4,000 seats

3. Energy data

Don’t forget to save your bills.

To receive a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score, you must enter energy meters that account for all energy use for all fuel types in the whole building, regardless of who receives or pays the utility bills. To ensure accurate analysis, EPA applies limitations on this data as follows:

  1. You must include all energy used by the property (e.g., electricity, gas, oil, steam, onsite renewable energy, etc.)
  2. There must be at least 12 full consecutive calendar months of energy data for all active meters and all fuel types.

Two tools. One valuable metric.

Both Target Finder and Portfolio Manager are online tools that calculate 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR scores. Use Target Finder for quick calculations and “what if” scenarios.

Learn more about how these tools differ by comparing Target Finder and Portfolio Manager.