Comprehensive Whole-Building Solutions
Across the country, energy efficiency program sponsors are going beyond the “traditional” pathways of prescriptive and custom incentives and technical assistance (e.g., audits, engineering studies) to implement more comprehensive approaches to energy performance improvement. Whether utilities are calling these programs “strategic energy management,” “continuous energy improvement,” or simply “whole-building” initiatives, they are all seeking to drive deeper engagement with customers. These programs seek to achieve greater energy savings by incorporating customized improvement opportunities and behavioral change, and by identifying savings from interactions among building systems.
Any utility program offering that seeks to help customers engage strategically, rather than just tactically, around the energy performance of their property or portfolio will benefit from the strategies in the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management. These Guidelines consolidate best practices from thousands of organizations into one step-by-step roadmap for continuous improvement. Key elements of this approach include:
- Using benchmarking to assess current performance at the whole-building level and identify opportunities for improvement; learn more about benchmarking here.
- Identifying improvement opportunities across all fuel types in use at the property (easier for dual-fuel utilities, but can still be accomplished by single-fuel utilities working in collaboration with their peers).
- Exploring improvement opportunities that look at all aspects of building performance — specifically, including a focus on operations and maintenance, behavioral efforts, and other low-/no-cost opportunities in addition to larger capital projects.
- Staging and sequencing energy improvement efforts over time, starting with lower-cost opportunities and working up to larger projects.
For owners/managers of a multi-property portfolio, use benchmarking results to identify those properties with the greatest opportunity for savings and leverage those to demonstrate early wins. As best practices are recognized at individual properties, make sure they are being shared with the rest of the portfolio. And as superior performers are identified, be sure to seek ENERGY STAR certification to promote success both within and outside of your customer’s organization.
Portfolio Manager plays a vital role in strategic energy management programs by allowing customers to benchmark their buildings, rate the performance on a scale of 1-100, facilitate access to energy data between interested parties, and provide a way to track improvement.
Use the Energy Program Assessment Matrix to establish and implement an effective energy management program, leveraging ENERGY STAR best practices.
Use the Facility Energy Assessment Matrix to assess how well an individual building is implementing your organization’s energy program.
BPwES helps provide a comprehensive overview and framework for long-term solutions through benchmarking with Portfolio Manager, making whole-building upgrades, monitoring continuous performance, and more.