Committing to energy efficiency can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know where to begin. With the help of the Environmental Protection Agency’s free online tools, we can get you moving in the right direction. The first step towards energy efficiency is knowing and understanding your building’s current baseline energy performance. Knowing this baseline measurement will allow you to track your progress moving forward. Also known as energy benchmarking.
Energy benchmarking is the process of comparing a building’s current energy performance with either its baseline performance or the energy performance of a similar building. In doing so, you’ll gain a better understanding of your building’s energy demand, allowing you to make better informed decisions on managing energy consumption. To determine your facility’s baseline performance, the EPA created the Target Finder tool. With your energy bills and some basic information, you can calculate your facility’s energy consumption in terms of cost and greenhouse gas emissions. Then you can compare this data to similar buildings to see how you match up.
Once you’ve analyzed this data, set your energy efficiency goals by inputting your target energy consumption. This measure reflects how much you hope to lower your building’s energy usage over a period of time. To meet this goal, talk with 360 Energy Group about conducting an energy assessment, planning capital upgrades or facilitating operational improvements with a retro-commissioning study. Once you know your project details, enter them into the Target Finder tool to calculate how much you will save and get you moving towards your energy goals. This tool is also useful for new construction projects as it allows you to set your goals early and evaluate your progress as you move through the design and construction phase.
Another tool the EPA offers is Portfolio Manager. This tool features the same benchmarking calculations as the Target Finder tool but with the ability to track multiple buildings at once. In doing so, you’ll gain a greater insight into where your problem areas are. You can save this information to look back on, share the data with others and accurately track changes over time. Unlike the Target Finder tool, Portfolio Manager allows you to get credit for your energy efficient work. You can apply for Energy Star Certification directly through the program.
Did you know that the City of Chicago requires all commercial, institutional and residential buildings over 50,000 square feet to submit energy benchmarking reports annually? The City of Chicago also requires this data to be verified every three years. 360 Energy Group can ensure your building remains in compliance with Chicago’s Energy Benchmarking Ordinance by benchmarking your facility with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager, verifying your benchmarking data and submitting your data to the City of Chicago. Don’t fall behind on energy benchmarking, contact Bryan Tillman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-236-8901 to get started!