Benchmarking Initiative

With an aim to develop programs that support institutional change for energy efficiency, Hawaii Energy began an ongoing benchmarking initiative in PY2014 and our well-equipped staff continues to perform tailored benchmarking analysis to better understand the unique requirements for commercial sectors. We align our work in benchmarking with the commercial sector's needs and make this information available to building managers for their use in developing energy efficiency programs. Our Energy Advisors employ benchmarking data to engage with those properties that show the highest EUIs (e.g. energy usage per square foot) to help identify specific energy efficiency opportunities. Please contact us for more information or if you are interested to see how benchmarking can help you make informed decisions about future energy actions. Benchmarking also works best when it is done consistently over time, since it is hard to manage what is not being measured.

Energy Benchmarking

Energy benchmarking is the process of comparing a facility’s energy usage against facilities of a similar type and/or function (i.e. office building to office building).The benchmarked sites are compared against similar facilities in their sector using their Energy Use Intensity (EUI) rating. The EUI is defined as the annual energy usage of a site divided by its total utilized square footage.

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Facility Types

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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.

 

Assumptions

  • Facilities are utilized as intended.
  • Energy use data are representative of normal consumption.
  • Square footage includes all enclosed spaces within a site. Outdoor spaces may be included depending on facility type. The decision as to whether outdoor areas are included are applied to all facilities in a sector.
  • In the rare case that floor data is unavailable, square foot is determined using publicly available map data.
  • Utilize Site EUI (not Source EUI) for benchmarking purposes.

Sources