The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines green power as electricity generated from renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact biomass, and low-impact hydro resources. Whereas energy efficiency measures may be implemented to reduce the overall energy use in your building, the purchase of green power helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the generation of electricity for use in your building. This document describes the specific requirements for benchmarking green power in Portfolio Manager.

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The energy used in commercial buildings accounts for roughly one quarter of worldwide emissions of the greenhouse gases (GHG) linked to global climate change, making buildings an important part of your GHG inventory. In order to help you assess the emissions footprint associated with your energy consumption, Portfolio Manager incorporates a number of metrics to quantify these emissions and provide you with an understanding of how they are generated.

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Commercial buildings all use different mixes of energy including electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, district steam, and many others. In order to evaluate energy performance for these buildings, we have to express all of these different energy types in a single common unit. Source energy is the most equitable unit of evaluation, and enables a complete assessment of energy efficiency.

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For consistency and comparability, all energy performance metrics in Portfolio Manager reports are expressed in either thousand British thermal units (kBtu) or billion joules (GJ) and are annualized to 12 calendar months. However, in most cases your energy bills are not presented in these units and are not tied to calendar months. Therefore, a series of procedures is applied to make these conversions.

Portfolio Manager offers three main meter types, based on the most common ways buildings receive energy:

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The climate of the area where your property is located and the annual fluctuations you experience in weather conditions can affect how much energy you need to operate your buildings. Portfolio Manager includes metrics designed to incorporate these effects and help you understand your energy performance. These procedures rely on temperature data collected by weather monitoring stations and published by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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EPA’s 1 - 100 ENERGY STAR score is an external benchmark for assessing the performance of commercial buildings. The ENERGY STAR score, expressed as a number on a simple 1 - 100 scale, rates performance on a percentile basis: buildings with a score of 50 perform better than 50% of their peers; buildings earning a score of 75 or higher are in the top quartile of energy performance.

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Did you know that there are more than 1,000 pieces of data that you can pull out of Portfolio Manager, including more than 150 performance metrics? See a complete list of all your options--from property address to greenhouse gas emissions to use of district chilled water.

Follow the steps in this two-page guide to get started using the new Portfolio Manager to benchmark your properties, assess performance, and view results.

EPA released a complete upgrade for its popular Portfolio Manager tool in 2013. This three-page overview document describes the major updates and changes that users will find in the new tool.

The ENERGY STAR DataTrends series provides an in-depth analysis of the commercial building energy performance information currently housed in Portfolio Manager. Download this .zip file in order to quickly access all existing DataTrends reports.

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