Benchmarking Initiative

Under the direction of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Hawaii Energy recently launched a pilot initiative to benchmark a mix of commercial, industrial, and water and wastewater facilities across Hawaii, Honolulu and Maui counties. This initiative was developed to collect data in order to better understand the current state of Energy Use Intensity (EUI) within the commercial and industrial sectors, and to provide this information to building managers for their use in developing energy efficiency programs.

This initiative has been completed for PY2014. Please stay tuned for results.

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Benchmarking is the process of comparing performance metrics against a standard or industry best practice. In the case of energy benchmarking, it is the process of comparing a facility’s energy usage against facilities of a similar type (i.e. office building to office building).

With the high cost of energy today and an increased awareness on energy conservation, building owners are recognizing the need to reduce their energy costs. The first step in reducing energy costs is to measure current consumption and understand what that means, such as “Is the energy usage high for a building of this size and similar function?” For example, a hospital will have a different energy profile compared to a small commercial office building. Once a building’s energy usage has been measured, analyzed and benchmarked, the building’s owner can then start to make informed decisions about future actions. The value of benchmarking is in the knowledge gained that will allow facility managers and owners to determine to focus precious resources in areas that require attention. Benchmarking also works best when it is done consistently over time, since it is hard to manage what is not being measured.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager is a measurement and tracking tool that is the standard today for peer comparison benchmarking. It is a program that allows facility managers to input various data about their building to generate a score indicating how it is performing against similar types of facilities nationwide. ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is also an interactive resource management tool that enables you to track and assess energy and water usage across your entire portfolio of buildings - all in a secure online environment. It generates weather-normalized Energy Use Intensity (EUI), greenhouse gas emission metrics for all buildings and an ENERGY STAR energy performance score (based on as score of 1 to 100) for many eligible building types. In addition, custom reports allow users to see time trending information and compare buildings within their portfolio.

An ENERGY STAR energy performance score indicates how energy-efficient your building or plant is compared to peer facilities nationwide. For example, a score of 50 is average, while a score of 30 means the building is only more efficient than 30 percent of its peer facilities. A score of 75 or higher means your facility is a top performer — and eligible for ENERGY STAR certification! For more information on the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, visit www.energystar.gov.