Energy & Sustainability

Energy Benchmarking

In a world that is becoming more conscious of energy use and conservation, buildings are competing to see which is the most energy efficient. Many jurisdictions are now requiring buildings to benchmark their energy performance and, in some cases, publicly disclose that information. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager can be used to score a building’s energy performance from 0 – 100. The higher the score, the better the building’s energy performance. Buildings achieving a score of 75 or greater achieve ENERGY STAR certification.

Benchmarking is an excellent method to measure a single building’s energy performance over time or relative to other similar buildings. This can incentivize buildings to implement energy saving strategies and improve their benchmark scores. Buildings that have implemented a benchmarking strategy and taken corrective action to improve their benchmarking score also have increased desirability to prospective tenants, and can realize higher income from rent. Benchmarking can also be used to compare a building’s energy performance to modeled simulations of a reference building conforming to various energy standards. A 2016 survey, conducted by NEMA, of 151 building managers in New York City proves that benchmarking policies can effectively help improve a building’s energy performance.

A number of states and cities have adopted a benchmarking and disclosure policy. Use the map below to see if you are required to benchmark your building’s energy performance.

Find benchmarking programs and policies

The interactive map below shows a summary of national, state-level, and local efforts that use EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

Lighting control solutions can help improve your building’s benchmarking score by reducing overall energy consumption. Lutron Quantum and Vive systems can help reduce your lighting energy usage by up to 60% and allow you to track your lighting energy usage and savings. The DOE and EPA provide a number of resources to help track your building’s benchmark energy score, including:

  • The EPA’s Target Finder, which is an online tool that allows users to evaluate new building design performance, and estimate the impacts of existing building system improvements.
  • The DOE Building Performance Database allows users to view anonymous building energy data across real estate sectors and regions, and use various building characteristics to compare their building or design to current trends in energy performance.
  • The EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager allows users to efficiently track their building’s energy and water consumption, along with greenhouse gas emissions, and benchmark their results against other similar buildings.