Last week, during a special meeting of the Cambridge City Council that ran for more than six hours, through the night and into the next day, the Cambridge City Council approved a Building Energy Usage Disclosure Ordinance. What brought the meeting beyond the midnight hour? Continue below to find out…
First Things First: What is Building Energy Benchmarking?
Building Energy benchmarking is the process of tracking an existing building’s energy usage over time and comparing the results to similar buildings OR the same building as measured at a different point in time/modeled during design.
Building, utility, and fuel data from at least 13 months of usage are collected and uploaded into a tracking software, the most popular of which is the U.S. EPA’s ENERGYSTAR Portfolio Manager. Portfolio Manager normalizes energy data inputs according to weather records and generates a statement of performance that details a building’s Energy Use Intensity (EUI). Additionally, Portfolio Manager will compare a building to similar buildings nationwide and assign a score from 1-100. Those buildings achieving a score of 75 or more are eligible for ENERGYSTAR certification. Studies show that such certification positively impacts market value of a building.
More than 260,000 buildings, or 40% of the total U.S. commercial building space, has been assessed using portfolio manager.