Why do I need to benchmark my building?

As states like California and cities such as Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Diego establish climate action plans, benchmarking and performance ordinances are a fundamental strategy of disclosing existing building’s energy and water use, establishing a baseline, and measuring milestones toward climate policy goals.

Benchmarking is also required for certain lender policies, like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac green loans, as well as some sales transactions. The benchmarking report will tell your investors how your building stacks up to the competition and to market values.

Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Reports

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure” – USGBC

What is Benchmarking?

Energy benchmarking measures and tracks energy and water usage and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of a building and measures it against other similar use buildings, with a weather normalization by zip code.

The standard platform used is ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. To benchmark a building, utility data, along with certain physical and operational characteristics of the building, is entered into the Portfolio Manager software to produce a performance report. This report provides building owners with an ENERGY STAR Score, of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most energy-efficient.

Green EconoME Benchmarking Services

Green EconoME can benchmark any commercial or multifamily property type nationally, using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager on either a one-time or multi-year basis. Whether for compliance or project needs, we can perform benchmarking on properties nationally. We stay current on existing and new disclosure laws throughout the country and do not need to be onsite to complete the report. Although we can work on buildings anywhere in the U.S., we specialize in disclosure reporting for:

  • California AB 802
  • Los Angeles Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program (EBEWE)
  • City of San Diego Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance
  • San Jose Energy and Water Building Performance Ordinance (BPO)
[symple_testimonial by="Green EconoME Client"]As a client of Green EconoME, I have been more than satisfied with the energy benchmarking work they have done for me. I have never had to worry whether they would meet any deadlines. They are responsive and thorough with their answers.[/symple_testimonial]

Phase II Performance Reporting

In addition to annual benchmarking disclosure, some of these ordinances also require building owners to submit certified reports verifying high performance or steps taken to improve the efficiency of their building on a five-year basis. Green EconoME refers to these as Phase II requirements. Currently, Los Angeles EBEWE and San Jose BPO have outlined Phase II requirements beginning in 2021. As other cities expand their climate policy, similar performance requirements will be approved in the near future. In some cases, these are significant requirements that will need to be budgeted for both financially and in timing. Programs vary by city but do share the following:
Performance reporting is due every 5 years based on the last digit of either AIN or City Building ID.

  • Reports must be verified by a CA licensed professional
  • Exemptions, or “paths to compliance” are available based on the performance of your building. As a rule, higher performing
  • buildings, and recent measures/certifications may meet exemptions

Green EconoME Phase II Services

As a full-service efficiency provider, Green EconoME can evaluate your path to compliance, conduct and coordinate the appropriate reports/exemptions and submit them for compliance.

Green EconoME Offers:

  • Benchmarking and Phase II Compliance Evaluations
  • Exemption Verification & Report
  • Phase II Reporting & Compliance Submission
  • ENERGY STAR Certification
  • ASHRAE Level II Energy & Water Audit