You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Finally, cities across the nation are realizing the importance of this message and are mandating building energy tracking and benchmarking.
Washington, DC has been on board now for a few years by requiring District building owners and operators to benchmark and report both private and public building energy usage. The benchmarking requirement has been rolled out in increments beginning in 2010 by requiring buildings 200,000 SF and larger to enter their facility information and energy utility data into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and then release the information to the District. 2013 marks the year that all private buildings 100,000 SF and larger must submit their 2012 energy usage. District buildings have until April 1, 2013 to set up their Portfolio Manager accounts and submit the energy data using the District Reporting Template for 2012.
It’s estimated that buildings are responsible for 75% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the District, much higher than the national estimated average of about 30%. Tracking energy is an important first step to setting and achieving energy reduction goals throughout the District.
Energy Star Portfolio Manager is a useful and free tool to track your building’s energy and water data. In fact, we encourage all building owners and operators to use the web-based program, regardless of city mandates. The program will help you understand you facility’s energy intensity (how much energy you are using per square foot), how your building ranks compared to the national average and much more.