• Refine Search

  • All Results


Benchmarking Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Open AllClose All
  Does it cost money to benchmark energy use in my buildings?

No. Energy use can be tracked using the FREE ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager developed and maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy. You will need to create an account and provide basic information on your building, most importantly its square footage. You will then need to transfer information provided on your monthly energy bills into the manager to determine how efficiently energy is used in your building.

  What types of properties can you track in the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager?

You can use Portfolio Manager to benchmark the performance of any type of building. There are 18 broad categories and, within those, more than 80 choices for building type. Categories include banking, education, entertainment, food, healthcare, lodging, manufacturing, office, warehouse, and more. This makes it easy for you to identify and compare similar buildings within your portfolio. 23 of the more than 80 property types are also eligible to receive a 1–100 ENERGY STAR® score. See what property types are eligible.

  Is the data entered into the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager kept confidential?

Yes. The following is an excerpt from the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager Privacy Statement:

“Where identifying information is collected in Portfolio Manager (such as your name, contact information, building and energy meter data, etc.), it is only used for the stated purpose of the tool, such as participating in the ENERGY STAR® National Building Competition, applying for ENERGY STAR® Certification, etc. Your information is never released to the public, is never sold to third parties, and we do not track or record information about individuals and their visits. The only exception are buildings that have applied for and received ENERGY STAR® certification which are posted in our National Building Registry showing their name and address.

"Information collected may be used for the purpose of identifying industry trends, evaluating the reach and impact of Portfolio Manager, or to gauge general usage statistics for the betterment of the site as a whole.

"Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes and are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration guidelines.”

Read the complete Privacy Statement.


  How is my ENERGY STAR® score calculated?

Based on the information you enter about your building, such as its size, location, number of occupants, etc., the score’s algorithm estimates how much energy the building would use if it were the best performing, the worst performing, and every level in between. It then compares the actual energy data you entered to the estimate to determine where your building ranks relative to its peers.

All of the calculations are based on source energy (total amount of raw fuel that is required to operate the building) and account for the impact of weather variations, as well as changes in key property use details. A score of 50 represents median energy performance, while a score of 75 or higher indicates your building is a top performer—and may be eligible for an ENERGY STAR® certification.

  How do I earn an ENERGY STAR® certification?

If your building receives an ENERGY STAR® score of 75 or higher on the EPA’s 1 – 100 scale, it may be eligible for certification. This score means that your building performs better than at least 75% of similar buildings nationwide. The score is based on the actual, measured energy use of a building and is calculated within the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager Tool.

Certification is given on an annual basis, so a building must maintain its high performance to be certified year to year. Information submitted in the certification application must be verified by a licensed Professional Engineer or Registered Architect to be eligible for approval.

  Can you benchmark more than energy in ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®?

Yes. You can also measure and track water use, waste and materials, and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

• Water Use: Track your water use across your property, over time, and against other properties in your portfolio.

• Waste & Materials: Track 29 different types, everything from basic trash, to cooking grease, to appliances. Use one of four different waste management methods to track: recycled, composted, donated/reused, or disposed (landfill, incineration, waste to energy, or other/unknown).

• Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Report Scope 1 and part of Scope 2 (location-based method only). The Buildings Emissions Calculator expands on Portfolio Manager’s GHG emissions capabilities by allowing users to create market-based and city/state-specific GHG emissions estimates, allowing users to select published locality-specific emissions factors, and forecasting of emissions based on a set of user-defined assumptions.

This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System