What is Energy Benchmarking?

Energy benchmarking is the process of figuring out the “miles per gallon” of a building.

Ty Clark
Published on June 02, 2021
What is Energy Benchmarking?

Energy benchmarking is a relatively new concept for most people. Think of it like the gas mileage on a car - some cars get 8 miles per gallon, while hybrid models can get up to 60. 

If a car gets 8 MPG you know deep down that it is a gas guzzler. If it gets 60 MPG you know instinctively that it is very efficient.  

What does Energy Benchmarking track?

Energy benchmarking is the process of figuring out the “miles per gallon” of a building. Instead of gasoline, however, energy benchmarking tracks electricity and natural gas usage. In certain cases steam, water use, waste and other types of fuels are also included.  

Basically, if you have a utility meter for it on the property, it’s going in the energy benchmark.

What does the Energy Benchmark process include?

The benchmark looks at how much energy the building consumes, and what it is being used for. This use could be an office, a grocery store or a clothing store, for instance. 

Once the energy usage is calculated, benchmarking normalizes it. That means accounting for things like climate (Boston will use more heating than Los Angeles, which uses more AC), hours of operation, the number of employees or tenants, computers, and what the building is used for.

What is the result of an Energy Benchmark?

All these factors result in an ENERGY STAR® score that falls between 1 and 100, with 1 being least efficient and 100 being the most. This score tells the building owner how well their building is performing compared to other, similar buildings - an apples to apples comparison. 

With this score in hand, it’s clear to see how your building is performing compared to it’s peers, i.e. whether your building is the one getting 8 miles per gallon or 60. It’s an easy way to determine if the building is a good candidate for  cost cutting by making energy improvements, or if your energy spend is already justified because of an excellent energy efficiency score.

Why is Energy Benchmarking required?

Governments that mandate benchmarking compliance hope this knowledge spurs greater energy improvements. They often also offer incentives, such as grants, rebates, or no-interest loans, in tandem.

What happens with your benchmark score?

All benchmarks are ultimately gathered in ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager, and made public.

How can Bay Efficiency help?

Whether your local government has mandated energy benchmarking, or you are simply interested in understanding your building’s “miles per gallon”, we can help you not only get the benchmark done, but also analyze the data further to find the best way to improve your NOI. 

Contact us to learn more. 


Ty Clark
Published on June 02, 2021