By David Pospisil, Guest Blogger, Energy Efficiency Markets
Energy benchmarking can help you better understand your commercial property’s energy use and monitor performance over time. It allows for comparisons among similar building types and helps identify which ones could operate more efficiently.
The Environmental Protection Agency and its ENERGY STAR® Program offers a free online tool called Portfolio Manager that allows users to track and assess building energy consumption for a single building or an entire portfolio. Portfolio Manager can help users comply with local energy laws, set investment priorities, identify under-performing buildings, verify efficiency improvements and receive EPA recognition for superior energy performance.
If you have already been through the benchmarking process, are you on track to increase your building’s energy performance rating this year? While benchmarking helps you understand the current state of your building’s performance, an energy audit can help you identify and prioritize opportunities for substantial energy and operational savings.
Not all energy audits are equal however. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recognizes three levels that vary in scope and cost:
Benchmarking and energy analysis work together as integral steps of a business’ energy management plan. The benchmarking process can help you identify your building’s performance rating and an energy audit can help you effectively evaluate the energy-saving opportunities so you can understand where your investment in sustainability will have the greatest impact.
Incentives from government and/or utility-based programs may be available to help pay for the cost of an energy audit, as well as energy efficiency upgrades. For example, the Con Edison Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Program offers:
Check to see what funding may be available in your area.
Join the discussion on LinkedIn (Con-Edison-Commercial-Industrial), Facebook (ConEd Green Team C&I), Twitter (ConEd Green Team C&I) and YouTube (ConEd Green Team C&I).
David Pospisil is Program Manager of Con Edison’s Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Program, New York, NY.
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