Did you realize commercial and multi-unit residential buildings represent 40 percent of energy use today? That’s a greater amount than transportation and industrial sectors and why Energy Benchmarking is gaining attention.
The U.S. Department of Energy and states and cities across the country have taken notice, and are moving forward with initiatives to help put big data to work in creating greater energy productivity. And that’s a positive step towards using energy more effectively in these large energy-using structures.
Wrangling the data
At the center of this effort is ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®, a software tool developed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This is a free online tool used to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Building or facility managers can use it to monitor the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings, all in a secure online environment.
But gathering the data into this online tool can be a challenge. Too often it’s the pain point that prevents building managers from participating in an energy management program.
How Xcel Energy is helping
We understand how time consuming and complex it can be to gather energy information from various sources. It can often literally be a manual effort. That’s why our new Xcel Energy Benchmarking Portal was designed.
Once set up, this process will provide you a direct feed of whole-building energy usage data from our metered data repository into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
And since building energy benchmarking isn’t complete without all the energy usage of your building, we’ll provide several alternatives to access individually-metered tenant data so you can tell the whole story.
Plus we will update your data on a monthly basis so you can focus on the important part – to help save energy and bottom line expenses for your organization.
Why energy benchmarking?
Benchmarking is the practice of comparing the measured performance of a facility with its peers. The goal is informing and motivating energy performance improvement. After all, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. And when you compare your energy usage against other businesses with similar sized operations, you can actually compare apples to apples. And from that data, you’re able to determine what’s working and discover best practices.
Welcome to quantitative energy analysis in the digital age
The term big data has been thrown around quite a bit lately as the next big thing. But the real value of big data is the actions that can be driven from it. And that’s what Energy Benchmarking is all about. It’s the collective effort of gathering and analyzing massive amounts of energy usage information, so smart and effective best practices can be established and compared.
Energy savings stories are adding up
When you join the Energy Benchmarking movement, you’ll be joining 40 percent of U.S. commercial building space that’s already benchmarked in Portfolio Manager. This has become the industry-leading benchmarking tool. In addition, you’ll also be joining forces with more than half of the Fortune 100®, half of the largest U.S. healthcare organizations, major league sports teams, colleges and universities, and entire cities.
What does all this mean for you?
Whether you’re new to this or consider yourself a veteran, if you own or manage a large office or apartment building, chances are that energy benchmarking will become a requirement for you at some point down the road, if not already. The good news is, your data gathering efforts will help kick start your energy management efforts in a way that’s directly aligned with industry best practices.
Learn more about Energy Benchmarking here.
To dig deeper, download the Energy Benchmarking User Guide here.