Why You Should Increase Your Energy Star Score June 14, 2014 | Samantha Dubrow

Energy Star is the most recognizable program for ranking energy efficiency for everything from electrical appliances to buildings. Its Portfolio Manager tool generates a percentile score for each building in a portfolio on a scale from 0 – 100 to represent that building’s energy efficiency compared to similar buildings.

A higher score means a lower energy bill 

A building that receives an Energy Star score of 47 is performing better than 47 percent of similar buildings across the country that have a similar primary use. The higher the score, the more efficiently that building is performing compared to its peers, and the lower its energy bills will be every year.

Once a building has an Energy Star score, its owners can make plans to invest in energy projects that will raise its score and reduce monthly utility bills by up to 30 percent.

By using Energy Star to organize a building portfolio, managers are able to measure their energy savings and performance against concrete metrics. 

Tenants recognize the Energy Star label

From vending machines to computers to dishwashers, Energy Star stickers are everywhere. Look around today and count how many you see. So far I’ve seen four today, and I haven’t even had lunch yet.

Buildings with an Energy Star score of 75 are certified by Energy Star and receive a plaque to display publicly, increasing the building’s marketability and instantly classifying the building as sustainable and green. Many high-profile corporate clients won’t rent a space with an Energy Star score that is below a certain threshold. These tenants care about corporate sustainability or see it as a useful PR tool and are willing to pay 

Many high-profile corporate clients won’t rent a space with an Energy Star score that is below a certain threshold. These tenants care about corporate sustainability or see it as a useful PR tool and are willing to pay more for an energy-efficient space.

energy_star_plaque

 

Energy Star gives a unique picture of each building

If you get on a treadmill and run for 30 minutes without telling the machine your height, weight, age, or gender, the calories it reports that you burn are arbitrary. Without a baseline to compare your performance too, the machine only has a few raw statistics to work with, and so it produces an inaccurate picture. The same is true of un-analyzed monthly energy bills.

Just like every person’s body burns energy differently depending upon a wide array of factors, every building has unique elements that affect its daily energy consumption. Energy Star does not just measure the size of your building; it also considers the number of occupants, number of appliances such as computers, and patterns and hours of operation. The benchmarking process also considers building location and weather patterns to generate the most accurate score.

ES_Considerations

 

Energy Star scores highlight room for improvement

Looking at raw energy data, it is difficult to see the potential for improvement. Energy Star gives buildings a score between 1 and 100, clearly showing where those buildings stand relative to others in their class.

This benchmarking is useful for identifying the next steps that a building should take toward reducing operating costs and competing with nearby buildings in the same class. It can also be useful for making a strong internal case with tenants or asset owners for investing in energy efficient retrofits.

If your building is included in the 40% of commercial buildings in the United States that have already been benchmarked, then the next step is to dramatically increase your score before it is benchmarked again next year. If you haven’t been benchmarked yet, check out Energy Star’s benchmarking tools to figure out where your buildings stack up.

 
 
 
benchmarking, Energy Efficiency, Energy Star, Going Green

About The Author When Samantha isn't writing for the blog or managing our HR like a champ, she studies Organizational Psychology at George Washington University.