Energy benchmarking is a relatively new requirement in the District of Columbia, and many have been left in the dark about the rules. Buildings represent 75% of DC’s energy consumption and carbon emissions, so the Department of Energy and the Environment requires that private commercial and residential properties greater than 50,000 square feet must report their monthly energy and water consumption to the City of DC. These reports were due by April 16, 2015.
However, many properties have not only missed that April deadline, they have yet to report their consumption. 450 notice of violations for noncompliance (i.e. not submitting reports) were handed out to commercial property owners on August 28; they have until September 27th to comply until fines of $100/day are slapped on.
Once all this data is collected, each building’s consumption information will be compared to buildings of similar types – purpose, size, number of occupants, etc. – to establish a performance score between 1-100. Buildings with a higher score perform more efficiently than similar buildings. With this “energy benchmarking” knowledge, the City of DC hopes building managers and owners will be more cognizant of their consumption to make informed choices on how to run their buildings.
So how can building owners comply and avoid impending costly fines? Digging up old electricity and water bills is a hassle. After these are located, someone must manually input this energy and water consumption information into the Energy Portfolio Manager (hint: it’s kind of a lot of information – take a look). A summary report will be generated, and then the report must actually be submitted to the District. For building owners, this is a time-consuming process that, quite frankly, no one wants to do.
Really, this process should not be as difficult as it is. To track electricity, water, and gas consumption, you simply need web-enabled meters and a good energy management system.
With a real-time EMS, the data can be sent automatically to Energy Star Portfolio Manager and – with the click of a button – will also be sent the report to the City of DC next April.
Aquicore is integrated with Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager, so the real-time data we collect from building meters can be automatically reported to Energy Star every month. You will never need to enter your usage into Energy Portfolio Manager again. You’ll only need to generate the Energy Star report once a year and submit it to the DC government to comply.
But, this is not the only benefit. Energy Star benchmarking is valuable in itself. It will give you clear indication of how efficient your buildings are, and give you the opportunity to operate your building better, save energy and communicate with key stakeholders.
At Aquicore, we know that this process can be complicated. Our daily consultative conversations with owners and operators reaffirms how challenging benchmarking issues can be – we’re here to help.