What is benchmarking?
Energy benchmarking means tracking a building’s energy and water use and then using a standard metric to compare the building’s performance against past performance and to its peers nationwide. These comparisons have been shown to drive energy efficiency upgrades and increase occupancy rates and property values. Rising energy costs mean that energy now represents a significant portion of operating budgets for buildings across the nation.
Good Business Practice
- Helps companies understand the performance of their buildings and set goals for improvement.
- Set up a methodology to track and report on energy performance, costs, and environmental impact over time, for individual buildings and entire portfolios.
- Earn points toward LEED® certification.
- Qualify and apply for the prestigious ENERGY STAR® label with performance scores above 75.
A building owner or operator is required to benchmark and disclose a building’s energy use if the answer to ALL three of the following questions is “yes”:
- Is your ENTIRE building being offered for sale, lease, finance or refinance?
- Does your building meet the following size and compliance schedule?
- On January 1, 2014, a building10,000 square feet or larger is required to comply with the program.
- On July 1, 2014, a building 5,000 square feet or larger is required to comply.
- Any building smaller than 5,000 square feet is EXEMPT from the program requirements.
- Is your building classified as one of the following occupancy types (based on the occupancy permit as issued by the owner’s local building department)?
- A (Assembly), B (Business), E (Education), I-1 and I-2 (Institutional), M (Mercantile), R-1 (Transient-Residential), S (Storage), and U (Parking Garage).
- All other occupancy types are exempted from the program requirements.
ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager Overview
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created an online benchmarking tool called the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. This is an interactive energy management tool that allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption for your building or across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. The EPA has developed a Benchmarking Starter Kit to help you get started quickly. EPA offers free webinars to help you through the process. For questions on Portfolio Manager, refer to ENERGY STAR's online Help and FAQ or contact email@example.com.
The City of Santa Clara/Silicon Valley Power will provide you with a 12 month historical kWh usage profile to upload into Portfolio Manager. Collect the account number(s) and service address for each meter you want to add to the Portfolio Manager. If you are not an authorized representative of the Customer of Record for the account or accounts meters that are required to benchmark your facility, have an authorized party complete and sign the Authorization to Release Utility Information, and then email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 408-249-0217. At this time, the City of Santa Clara does not offer Automated Benchmarking Services.