Policymakers

Through ENERGY STAR, EPA has helped dozens of state and local governments design and implement voluntary policies and programs focused on commercial and multifamily buildings to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate local economic growth. And for the dozens of governments that have chosen to pass laws requiring the use of Portfolio Manager and ENERGY STAR metrics, EPA has provided expert advice on the most appropriate use of the program’s tools and resources.

EPA’s ENERGY STAR team is available to provide technical support to state and local governments across all phases of policy development and implementation. Browse some of our resources below and then contact us to learn how we can help you achieve your goals.

Get an Overview of Portfolio Manager

EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is a free, online measurement and tracking tool that can be used by all commercial and multifamily buildings. It provides a variety of key performance metrics on indicators like energy use, water use, waste generation/disposal, and greenhouse gas emissions. Hundreds of thousands of buildings use it to keep tabs on their environmental performance, but it’s also used by dozens of state and local governments as the IT backbone of their voluntary programs and their benchmarking and disclosure and building performance policies. Learn more about Portfolio Manager.

Key Advantages to Using Portfolio Manager

  1. No cost to you. No cost to building owners/managers in your jurisdiction.
  2. EPA’s robust training and user support infrastructure, including more than a dozen live training sessions every month and a user support team that provides responses typically within an hour.
  3. Portfolio Manager’s status as the industry standard energy benchmarking tool helps minimize your risk and make compliance easier for many buildings. The tool is already used to benchmark nearly 25% of all commercial floor space in the U.S.

Learn How We Can Help You

We’ve helped dozens of policymakers untangle the complicated task of designing and implementing their policies. Now we’re ready to share our insights and resources with you. For example, we can:

  1. Share our expertise and review draft policies to ensure they can be implemented as intended using Portfolio Manager and its metrics
  2. Share which data and metrics other policymakers have found useful to collect.
  3. Share our tips for how to best engage building owners and managers, including recommending ENERGY STAR tools and resources that can support improvement.
  4. Share tips for how to promote the training sessions and other opportunities that you’ll be offering.
  5. Develop and  share a summary of Portfolio Manager usage in your jurisdiction to demonstrate recent activity and performance, including how many buildings are benchmarking by size, property type, ENERGY STAR score, and over time, as well as how many are ENERGY STAR certified. All data will be anonymous. 
  6. Program a unique ID field into Portfolio Manager so that you can verify compliance and connect submitted data to your existing records and datasets.
  7. Teach you how you can collect data through the tool.
  8. Train staff and volunteers on how to use Portfolio Manager so that they can train others.
  9. Share the raw video and script files from our demo videos, so that you can edit and repurpose them with compliance information specific to your requirements.

Use the Benchmarking & Building Performance Standard Policy Toolkit

EPA’s Benchmarking and Building Performance Standards Policy Toolkit

EPA’s Benchmarking and Building Performance Standards Policy Toolkit aims to inform and support state and local government decision makers who are exploring adopting policies focused on reducing energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing commercial and multifamily buildings in their communities.

The toolkit includes guidance and sample language. Its four sections focus on different aspects of policy development, including:

  1. Section 1: Benchmarking and transparency
  2. Section 2: Building performance standards
  3. Section 3: State and local government coordination
  4. Section 4: Access to utility data
  5. Section 5: Data quality (coming soon!)

See What Other Cities and States Have Done

Search our interactive map of programs and policies to learn what other policymakers have done.

Policy map detail

And when you work with EPA, we can help connect you with other local governments working on similar programs, to exchange best practices and lessons learned.

Additional Resources to Help State and Local Governments Promote Energy Efficiency

Did you know that many utilities can automatically upload a building’s energy use data into its Portfolio Manager account? First, check to see if yours does. If not, then get smart about the topic so you can decide whether to work with your utility to offer this service.

Does your utility provide energy data for benchmarking?

Learn more about what it takes to provide energy data for benchmarking

Voluntary campaigns are a great way to engage the local building community in saving energy and give recognition to owners and managers for their energy-saving achievements. We have lots of resources if you want to run a campaign, like by hosting an energy-saving competition or encouraging Energy Treasure Hunts.

Host an energy efficiency competition

Energy Treasure Hunts

ENERGY STAR Tenant Space