Step 2: Assess your clients’ energy performance

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Getting a handle on current and past energy use is a critical first step. ENERGY STAR provides tools you can use to help your clients set a baseline for energy use, compare their performance to their peers, and analyze trends.

Benchmark energy use

For commercial buildings

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an online energy and water measurement and tracking tool used by 40 percent of the commercial buildings market. It enables your clients to track and assess energy and water use across their entire portfolio of buildings … all in a secure online environment. More importantly, it can help your clients implement every step of their energy management program, from setting a baseline and identifying which buildings to target, to setting goals and tracking improvements.

For industrial plants

Industry-specific Energy Performance Indicators (EPI) track yearly energy use patterns in industrial facilities.

Analyze energy performance

With the data in front of you, help your client gain a better understanding of the factors that affect energy performance. There are many ways to do this. For example:

  • Develop use profiles — Identify energy consumption peaks and valleys, and determine how they relate to operations or key events.
  • Assess the financial impacts — Identify areas of high-cost energy use.
  • Identify data gaps — Determine areas where more information is needed.
  • Conduct interviews — Seek informed opinions from client colleagues, specific anecdotes and lessons learned, systems-specific information (e.g., HVAC, lighting, refrigeration), and in-house audits or surveys.
  • Review policies and procedures — Review organizational policies and operating procedures to determine their impact on energy use.

Perform an audit

Now is also the time to conduct an investment-grade energy audit. Energy audits are comprehensive reviews that evaluate the actual performance of a facility's systems and equipment against their designed performance level or against best available technology. The difference between these is the potential for energy savings.

Further reading: ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management, Step 2: Assess Performance