Benchmarking measures a building’s energy and water use to establish a baseline from which to measure all future improvements. The metrics of a benchmarked building are compared against similar buildings throughout the United States to produce an ENERGY STAR Benchmarking “rating.” The resulting metrics are also used to calculate a building’s greenhouse gas emissions. Ideally, benchmarking should be undertaken for every property; in some locations, such as New York City, it is now mandatory. It is a valuable service for those evaluating the purchase of a property, and is essential for planning building energy improvements.
If you have a building in New York City that is 50,000 square feet or larger, you are required to benchmark your building’s energy consumption. This mandate was instituted in 2016.
Cotocon will conduct an energy use analysis (based on 12-24 months of energy bills) to determine the buildings current energy and cost efficiency relative to other similar properties and plot the monthly energy use to assess patterns and document irregularities. The energy usage data will be entered into ENERGY STAR Portfolio management software to identify targets and identify opportunities: savings, peak energy usage, reduction opportunities, and develop a plan for ongoing adjustment factors for energy efficiency usage.
Benchmarking: It’s Business Smart
Even if your building is not located in New York City, ENERGY STAR benchmarking your building is the smart thing to do. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. You may think you know how much energy and water your building is using, but are you sure?
How does your building stack up against other comparable buildings? Energy and water use are among your few controllable operating expenses. Make sure you have a complete and accurate picture of the energy and water your building is using right now, so you can move forward to make your building perform better in the future.
Benchmarking informs organizations about how they use energy, where they use it, and what drives their energy use. It is a key step in identifying opportunities to increase profitability by lowering energy and operating costs. For example:
- In commercial real estate, decreasing energy costs by 30 percent is equivalent to increasing net operating income by 4 percent.
- In the healthcare industry, each dollar that a hospital saves in energy costs is comparable to generating new revenues of $20.
- In the supermarket retail industry, a 10 percent reduction in energy costs is equivalent to increasing sales per square foot by $70.
Realizing these savings can be catalyzed through benchmarking.
Benchmarking is necessary for effective energy management. Through benchmarking, the key metrics for assessing performance are identified, baselines are established, and goals are set. This process helps to identify the key drivers of energy use and provides an important diagnostic tool for improving performance.