ENERGY STAR Update
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Monday, August 31, 2009

Improvements to Portfolio Manager on August 31, 2009

New House of Worship Space Model
Updates to the Warehouse Space Models
New Retail Attribute and Changes to Rating Eligibility Rules
New Optional Hotel Attributes
New Fields for On-Site Solar and Wind Energy
New tracking for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
New Fuel and Unit Choices
New and Revised Building Import Templates

  1. New House of Worship Space Model - Effective August 31, 2009
    Effective August 31, 2009, a rating is now available for Houses of Worship. House of Worship applies to buildings that are used as places of worship. This includes churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, meetinghouses, or any other buildings that primarily function as a place of religious worship. The rating applies to buildings that function as the primary place of worship and not to other buildings that may be associated with a religious organization, such as living quarters, schools, or buildings used primarily for other community activities. The rating applies to worship facilities that have 4,000 seats or fewer. Spaces that are currently defined as ‘Other-Religious Worship’ will be transferred automatically into the new ratable space category, and therefore may receive a rating.

    Requirements

    In order to compute the new rating, there are seven inputs:

    When the updates were released on August 31, 2009, your building was assigned default values for each of these new attributes. To ensure that the facilities in your account continue to receive the most accurate energy performance ratings, please log into Portfolio Manager on or after August 31, 2009 and provide actual information to replace default values.

    Note: Houses of Worship achieving a rating of 75 or higher will be eligible to apply for the ENERGY STAR label.
    • Gross floor area
    • Seating capacity
    • Weekdays of operation
    • Weekly operating hours
    • Number of personal computers
    • Presence of cooking facilities
    • Number of commercial refrigeration/freezer units
  2. Updates to Warehouse Space Models - Effective August 31, 2009
    Effective August 31, 2009, important updates were made in Portfolio Manager which may impact your energy performance ratings for any facilities with Warehouse space. EPA has updated the methodology used to rate buildings with warehouses (both refrigerated and unrefrigerated) using the most recent market data, the 2003 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). These changes enable you to receive more accurate energy performance ratings, which will facilitate tracking and managing energy performance at your buildings. No new user input fields will be added as part of this change. Due to the application of more recent market data, most buildings are likely to experience a change in their ratings. Note that EPA does not know in advance how these changes will affect ratings of specific individual buildings.

    Requirements

    The updated rating model methodology will now require the following information for Unrefrigerated Warehouse space:

    There is also a new optional attribute for Unrefrigerated Warehouses: Distribution Center.

    The updated rating model methodology will now require the following information for Refrigerated Warehouse space:

    When the updates were released on August 31, 2009, the values you previously entered for Warehouse attributes did not change. However, the energy performance rating may have changed.
    • Gross floor area
    • Number of walk-in refrigeration/freezer units
    • Weekly operating hours
    • Number of workers on main shift
    • Percent of gross floor area that is air conditioned
    • Percent of gross floor area that is heated
    • Gross floor area
    • Weekly operating hours
    • Number of workers on main shift
  3. New Retail Attribute and Changes to Rating Eligibility Rules - Effective August 31, 2009
    Effective August 31, 2009, important updates were made in Portfolio Manager which may impact your energy performance ratings for any facilities with Retail space. In order to receive a rating, Retail space is now required to have an exterior entrance to the public.

    New Requirement

    Retail properties are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR at the store level only. Eligible store configurations include: free standing stores; stores located in open air or strip centers (a collection of attached stores with common areas that are not enclosed); and mall anchors. Retail configurations not eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR include: entire enclosed malls (a collection of attached stores with enclosed common areas); individual stores located within enclosed malls; entire open air or strip centers; and individual stores that are part of a larger non-mall building (i.e. office or hotel). Retail space that is part of a mixed-use property should review the mixed-use benchmarking guidance.

    When the updates are released on August 31, 2009, your building will be assigned a default value for this new attribute to indicate that there is an exterior entrance to the public. To ensure that the retail facilities in your account are still eligible to receive energy performance ratings, please log into Portfolio Manager on or after August 31, 2009 and provide actual information to replace the default value.
    • Exterior entrance to the public
       
  4. New Optional Hotel Attributes - Effective August 31, 2009
    Effective August 31, 2009, five new optional attributes are available for the Hotel space type. These additional attributes will assist EPA with ongoing research in the hospitality sector and will help you track important characteristics at your facilities.

    New Optional Attributes

    When the updates were released on August 31, 2009, there were no changes to the energy performance ratings for your facilities. However, to assist EPA with ongoing research in the hospitality sector and to help you track important characteristics at your facilities, please log into Portfolio Manager on or after August 31, 2009 and provide information for these new optional attributes.
    • Hours per day guests are on site
    • Number of guest meals served per year
    • Floor area of full-service spas
    • Floor area of gym/fitness center
    • Annual quantity of laundry processed on-site
       
  5. New Fields for On-Site Solar and Wind Energy - Effective August 31, 2009
    Effective August 31, 2009, when you enter an electricity meter in Portfolio Manager, you will be asked to document whether the electricity is purchased from a utility or generated from wind or solar energy on site. You will be required to report the energy used from any on-site solar and wind installations at your building. In some cases, a facility will produce more electricity than it needs, and therefore can sell this back to the grid. Therefore, you will also be asked if you sell any portion of the electricity you generate from your solar or wind installation. On-site solar and wind energy will be incorporated into your site and source energy values and your energy performance rating.

    Also, see FAQs: On-site Solar and Wind Energy in Portfolio Manager  (305KB) for responses to common questions regarding the addition of on-site solar and wind energy to Portfolio Manager in August 2009.
     
  6. New tracking for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) - Effective August 31, 2009
    Effective August 31, 2009, new tracking for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) is available. A REC represents the environmental, social, and other non-power qualities associated with a unit of renewable electricity. You may purchase RECs whether or not you have on-site renewable energy. Portfolio Manager will allow you to track REC purchases at the building level for all buildings in your portfolio. This will help you track the role of green power in your organization’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory and reduction program.
     
  7. New Fuel and Unit Choices - Effective August 31, 2009
    Effective August 31, 2009, there are two new fuel types (District Hot Water and District Chilled Water – Other) and two new energy unit options (Liters for liquid fuels and Cubic Meters for natural gas).
     
  8. New and Revised Building Import Templates - Now Available - Effective August 24, 2009
    Effective August 24, 2009, new and revised building import templates must be used. New templates are now available for downloading and old templates will no longer be accepted.

    The following template changes have been made:
    • New template for House of Worship
    • Warehouse template has been divided into two templates (one for Refrigerated and one for Unrefrigerated) and includes appropriate attributes
    • Retail template includes new Exterior Entrance attribute
    • Hotel template includes new optional attributes
    • All templates have been updated with new fuel types and fuel units, including on-site renewable fuels. (Note: additional on-site specific energy data can not be entered via the building import template; meters can be added with basic energy use and cost information and additional data can be added via the Portfolio Manager application.)

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