When you know how you use energy, does that impact your future choices?
A recent study of energy use in New York City from 2010-2013 showed a downward trend in overall use once building owners were required to benchmark their building's energy use. Benchmarking is just simply understanding where you are today relative to past performance or relative to peer buildings. We understand what we think happens within our buildings. But, do we really know that the lights are being turned out? Do we really know if the controls are functioning for the boiler? Do we really know if turning back the temperature is really going to save energy?
Benchmarking just simply identifies a starting point - the place where you become a little more diligent about making sure the last person out of a room has turned off the lights, making sure the preventive maintenance plan is not scrapped from the annual budget, or making sure that this information gets communicated to other occupants of your facility. These small building blocks can begin to add up to sizable rewards - who does want another 8% in the program budget or the profit margin.
To answer those questions requires a detailed study. But, benchmarking can be done with some simple knowledge of your building, a copy of the electric, gas, or other fuel source bills, and the EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool. This free online tool can get you to the starting line to start your journey towards eliminating wasted energy, improving facility occupant comfort, and support your greater mission (not many are in business to hand over money to the utility companies).
Head over to our Resources page to download a Quick Start Guide for Portfolio Manager. Or give us a call and we can help you benchmark your building's energy use.