Updates to ENERGY STAR® metrics with new market data

If you benchmark one or more properties in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, you’ll likely see a change in your buildings’ 1–100 ENERGY STAR scores and other source energy metrics after August 26, 2018. That’s because EPA is updating performance metrics in Portfolio Manager based on the most recent market data available. This update is part of EPA’s standard process to keep ENERGY STAR metrics as current as possible, and reflective of current market performance.

On this page:

What is the latest available market data?

For most types of commercial buildings, the 1–100 ENERGY STAR score is based on the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), which is conducted about once every four years by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). The latest CBECS data became available in 2016 and is based on the results of the 2012 survey. (EIA was unable to publish the 2007 CBECS; therefore, many of the scores still rely on data from prior CBECS.)

What does this mean for my ENERGY STAR score?

The 1-100 ENERGY STAR score compares your building’s energy performance to that of similar buildings nationwide. The most recent market data available shows an overall improvement in the energy performance of the U.S. building stock in recent years. So when Portfolio Manager metrics are updated on August 26, ENERGY STAR scores and other performance metrics will, on average, go down.

Exact score changes for specific buildings or portfolios will not be available prior to the August release. Your individual building’s ENERGY STAR score may increase or decrease, depending on your energy use, fuel mix, business activity, property type, and other variables.

The following 1–100 ENERGY STAR score models will be updated:

  • Bank branches
  • Courthouses
  • Financial offices
  • Hotels
  • Houses of worship
  • K-12 schools
  • Offices
  • Retail, including retail store and wholesale club/supercenter
  • Supermarkets
  • Warehouses, including refrigerated, non-refrigerated, and distribution centers

Note that ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and Target Finder also generate metrics used to evaluate energy design targets of new construction, including the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score. Both tools calculate metrics using the same underlying methodology, so design metrics are also getting a refresh.

When is the release date for the updated metrics?

The release date for all updated scores is August 26, 2018. The tool will be temporarily unavailable beginning the afternoon of August 26 while the changes are made, and then is anticipated to come back online late in the evening or early the following day. Users will see the updated metrics when they login to the tool on Monday, August 27. Releasing the updated scores at one time will ensure that mixed-use buildings experience only one change.

What else is changing besides updates to 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores?

In addition to updates to 1-100 ENERGY STAR score models, there will be two other changes included in the August 2018 metric updates:

  1. Data center estimates: Beginning after August 26, there will be a new option to use estimated energy use for data centers. This option is designed for smaller data centers, within another property type, and where it is not practical to measure IT energy use. The industry best practice and recommended option continues to be to separately measure and enter IT energy use when feasible. Read an FAQ on using data center estimates
  2. Source energy factor: The source energy factor helps level the playing field for different fuel types by tracing the energy requirements of the building back to the raw fuel input (coal, gas, steam, hydro, etc.). Based on the national average, the new national source electric factor will be slightly lower. However, performance metrics could increase or decrease depending on the building’s fuel-mix ratio, though changes based on this update alone with be comparatively small in magnitude. Read the source energy factor technical reference for more information.

How can I prepare?

EPA is working to keep you informed and help you prepare for the upcoming metric updates.

If needed, download before-and-after performance reports

When ENERGY STAR metrics are updated on August 26, 2018, the new calculations will be applied across all time periods, which means your scores and metrics for all historical benchmarking data will change. By applying this update across all time periods, you’ll continue to be able to analyze changes that are a result of your own activities, rather than changes in underlying market data.

After the metric updates are implemented, EPA will not be able to provide “before and after” score changes for individual buildings or portfolios. If you anticipate needing to document changes, you can download your pre- and post-update metrics in Excel using Portfolio Manager reports. To record this information and calculate changes, you’ll need to download the report prior to the August update and again after the update. This may be relevant if you’re participating in third-party certifications or incentives. Watch a step-by-step video or print step-by-step instructions on how to generate standard reports in Portfolio Manager. The following reports may be helpful:

  • “Performance Highlight” Report (for a portfolio-level, multi-year summary)
  • Statement of Energy Performance (for a building-level, 12-month performance period)

Apply early for 2018 ENERGY STAR certification

Apply now for ENERGY STAR certification for your eligible commercial buildings…especially if your score is close to 75!

  • Applications submitted by July 26, 2018 will be assessed using currently available (pre-update) scores.
    • Applications received before July 26, 2018, and which require no significant follow-up or changes, will be guaranteed to be approved and awarded certification using the existing score models.
    • Applications received July 26 – August 26 are not guaranteed to be approved prior to the score changes.
    • Applications received after August 26 will be evaluated using the updated score models.
  • EPA will not rescind prior ENERGY STAR certifications

Please note that these deadlines only apply to the commercial buildings that will be impacted by the August score updates. For information on industrial plant certification, please visit www.energystar.gov/plants.

New application eligibility flexibility for commercial buildings that earned the ENERGY STAR in 2017:

  • To aid in this transition to updated scores, EPA is making a one-time update to eligibility rules to allow everyone to apply before the score changes are implemented.
  • EPA is updating the requirement to wait at least 11 months after the “Year Ending” date of your last approved application.
  • Policy for 2018 only – All buildings that earned 2017 ENERGY STAR certification will be eligible to apply for 2018 certification using a “Year Ending Date” of April 30, 2018 or earlier.
  • If you earned 2017 certification, eligible buildings with a score of 75 or higher can apply now.

Download the communications toolkit

The communications toolkit is provided to help you communicate proactively with your stakeholders about the updates before they happen and take steps to prepare for the changes. It includes:

Recorded webinars

EPA hosted several webinars to help you stay informed and prepare for the updates. All webinars are recorded and available to watch at any time on the ENERGY STAR training portal or by clicking the links below. Note that EPA will not be able to provide score changes for any specific building or portfolio. 

Read frequently asked questions

EPA has a dedicated section of frequently asked questions about the 2018 metric updates in the ENERGY STAR Buildings help desk. If your question is not among the FAQs, submit a question by clicking the “Ask a Question” tab. 

List of 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores and technical details

The table below provides a quick overview of 1–100 ENERGY STAR scores that are being updated, a link to the technical reference, a link to the technical webinar, if available, and data source summary.

Space Type

Link to Slides and Webinar Recording

New Use Details Added in August 2018?

Release Date(s)

Source of Data

Collection Date(s)

Hotel

August 2017: Updated 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score for Hotels (PDF, 5.6 MB)

Listen to the recorded webinar here.

No

*2018

2009

2002

CBECS

CBECS

Industry Survey

2012

2003

1999

K-12 School

April 2017: K-12 School: Progress of ENERGY STAR Score Update (PDF, 1.0 MB)

Listen to the recorded webinar here.

Number of workers on main shift (Exists now, but will be required in August)

*2018

2009

2004

2000

CBECS

CBECS

CBECS

CBECS

2012

2003

1999

1995

Office (including financial office, bank branch, and courthouse)

May 2016: Office ENERGY STAR Score Update Plans (PDF, 253 KB)

Listen to the recorded webinar here.

No

*2018

2007

2004

1999

CBECS

CBECS

CBECS

CBECS

2012

2003

1999

1995

Retail (including retail store and wholesale club/ supercenter)

May 2016: Retail ENERGY STAR Score Update Plans (PDF, 222 KB)


Listen to the recorded webinar here.

No

*2018

2007

CBECS

CBECS

2012

2003

Supermarket

May 2016: Retail ENERGY STAR Score Update Plans (PDF, 222 KB)

Listen to the recorded webinar here.

Number of Open or Closed Refrigeration/ Freezer Units (Exists now, but will be required in August)

*2018

2008

2001

CBECS

CBECS

CBECS

2012

1999 & 2003

1992 & 1995

Warehouse (including refrigerated, non-refrigerated, and distribution centers)

January 2018: Updated 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score for Warehouses (PDF, 1.9 MB)

Listen to the recorded webinar here.

Percentage of gross floor area used for cold storage (New in August)

Percent that can be cooled and Percent that can be heated (refrigerated warehouse)

(New in August)

*2018

2009

2004

CBECS

CBECS

CBECS

2012

2003

1999

Worship Facility

January 2018: Updated 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score for Worship Facilities (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Listen to the recorded webinar here.

Gross floor area used for food preparation (New in August)

Percent that can be cooled and Percent that can be heated

(New in August)

*2018

2009

CBECS

CBECS

2012

2003

*Anticipated August 26, 2018.

For slides and recordings of all webinars related to the 2018 metric updates that have been held since planning began in 2014, visit 2018 ENERGY STAR metric updates: All webinar recordings.

Average ENERGY STAR score changes for select property types

ENERGY STAR score updates graphic - white background

Live webinars

Visit the ENERGY STAR training portal to register for a no-cost webinar about the upcoming ENERGY STAR metric updates or an “Ask the Expert” session.  

Frequently asked questions

Visit the ENERGY STAR Buildings help desk to read FAQs about the upcoming updates to ENERGY STAR metrics or to submit a question.

What is the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score and certification for buildings?