The Department of Energy (DOE) defines energy benchmarking as “[t]he process of accounting for and comparing a metered building’s current energy performance with its energy baseline, or comparing a metered building’s energy performance with the energy performance of similar types of buildings (based on use, such as comparing the energy performance of a hospital to that of other hospitals).” But to put it much more simply, energy benchmarking measures a building’s energy usage over time and compares its performance to other similar buildings.
Energy benchmarking helps us understand our energy use and allows us to prioritize limited resources in order to conserve energy and save money. Benchmarking can be used to compare performance over time, within and between peer groups, or to document top savings from conservation measures.
In the state of Texas, all state agency and higher education buildings must report their energy and water usage through the EPA’s ENERGYSTAR® Portfolio Manager.
ECAD for Commercial Buildings in Austin
The Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance requires commercial building owners to benchmark and report their energy use rating by June 1st each year. The ordinance applies to commercial buildings 10,000 square feet or larger that are located within the Austin city limits and receive electricity from Austin Energy. Building owners who do not comply are subject to fines. Non-compliance with ECAD is a Class C misdemeanor with fines ranging from $500 to $2,000.
Voluntary Program in Houston
The Houston Green Office Challenge is a friendly competition for commercial property owners, managers and office tenants that celebrates achievements in greening operations through Mayoral and media recognition. This Houston-wide program brings local, state and national sustainability experts together with businesses and properties to learn and engage in both introductory and high performance green building practices through free workshops and training. The Challenge also helps participants improve their sustainability and work toward third-party green building certifications such as ENERGY STAR® and LEED®.
Fort Worth Better Buildings Challenge
The City of Fort Worth Better Buildings Challenge encourages city businesses and communities to save energy in their buildings. Building a network of partners and allies, including local energy and water utilities, the Better Buildings Challenge effectively provides a local education and outreach program promoting energy conservation and efficiency, as well as technical support for partners to measure and track their energy use. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, Fort Worth has achieved 8% energy savings across 19 million square feet of public and private sector buildings since 2009. The city is on track to meet a ten-year goal of decreasing energy use by 20% by the year 2020.
How Albireo Can Help
Albireo has helped various cities and businesses become benchmark compliant, including the cities of Philadelphia and Boston, as well as hundreds of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises. We have now expanded our reach with the addition of Senior Strategic Managers in Austin, Texas, New York City and Columbus, Ohio. Contact us at [email protected] or call us today at 800-201-3153. We can assist you in managing your energy and meeting your benchmarking requirements. Let Albireo power your business.