Unlocking Sustainability and Cost Savings with ENERGY STAR Benchmarking

By Ariana Nieves
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG)photo of business people looking at data graphs

As the world continues to grapple with the economic fallout from the recent global events, commercial building management professionals are finding themselves at the crossroads of economic necessity and environmental responsibility. Now more than ever, it is vital to prioritize energy efficiency and sustainability in our buildings. One of the most effective tools to aid this effort is the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® benchmarking tool.

What is ENERGY STAR Benchmarking?

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an online tool that measures and tracks energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. It’s designed to provide a comprehensive picture of a building’s energy performance and allows you to compare your building to similar ones nationwide. The tool uses a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score, with a score of 50 representing the median energy performance, and a score of 75 or higher qualifying for ENERGY STAR certification.

Why Prioritize ENERGY STAR Benchmarking?

Cost Savings
In an increasingly competitive economic market, managing operating costs is critical. Buildings that have implemented ENERGY STAR benchmarking typically see significant energy cost savings. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), commercial buildings that routinely benchmark their energy performance save an average of 2.4% per year in energy costs.

Increased Building Value
ENERGY STAR certified buildings often enjoy higher market values and rental rates compared to similar buildings without the certification. This is because these buildings demonstrate a commitment to energy efficiency, which is increasingly attractive to both tenants and investors.

Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility
Companies across the globe are recognizing the importance of integrating sustainability into their operations. By using ENERGY STAR benchmarking, you’re not just reducing your energy costs – you’re also reducing your carbon footprint and demonstrating your commitment to environmental stewardship.

Best Practices for ENERGY STAR Benchmarking

  1. Start with an Energy Audit: Before you can improve your building’s energy efficiency, you need to know where you stand. An energy audit will identify your current energy usage and highlight areas where you can make improvements.
  1. Set Energy Efficiency Goals: Based on the findings from your energy audit, set tangible, measurable goals for energy efficiency improvements.
  1. Regularly Measure and Track Your Progress: Use the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to regularly measure and track your energy usage. This will allow you to assess the effectiveness of your energy efficiency measures and make necessary adjustments.
  1. Engage Stakeholders: It’s important to involve all stakeholders in your energy efficiency efforts. This includes tenants, employees, and management. By educating them about the benefits of energy efficiency and involving them in your efforts, you can increase buy-in and improve your results.
  1. Seek Professional Assistance: Consider working with our ENERGY STAR team! Our consultants can provide valuable advice, help you navigate the ENERGY STAR benchmarking process, and assist in implementing energy efficiency measures.

In conclusion, in a challenging economic climate, the need for cost-effective, sustainable practices is more important than ever. ENERGY STAR benchmarking is a powerful tool that can help commercial building professionals manage their energy usage, reduce costs, and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. By prioritizing this practice, you can position your building and your business for success in both the current market and the years to come.


© 2023 Sustainable Investment Group (SIG). All rights reserved.