So the long-awaited Energy Star changes have finally arrived.
The commercial real estate industry was quite surprised when they woke up Aug 27th to see what had happened to their coveted Energy Star Scores. Here’s what you need to know and what you can do to try to get your scores back up.
On August 27th EPA completed their planned updates to the Energy Star scoring methodology and all scores within Energy Star Portfolio Manager (current and historic) now reflect the updated methodology. EPA said the average drop in office building scores would be 12 points, but the average drop we have seen for our large office building clients is closer to 16 and sometimes even higher.
The score changes are the result of EPA updating the data set that all buildings are compared to from 2003 data to 2012 data, and the average building has gotten more energy efficient over that time. They have also lowered the site-to-source ratio used to calculate the environmental impact of electricity used by buildings (this shift actually helped large electricity users). These updates typically occur every 5 years, but this time there was a much longer gap between updates making the impact of the change much more drastic. The updated scores now reflect a more accurate assessment of building performance across the country reflecting more modern and efficient building stock.
I’m sure this is disheartening to building owners across the country, but this is not a reflection of any changes in the operations of your buildings. And remember that this change has affected all building types (each to a different degree) across the country so the entire industry is going through the same thing.
What to do next
The next logical step is to ask how to get the scores back up again. Of course, the most direct way to increase your Energy Star Score is to reduce the amount of energy your building consumes, including landlord and tenant equipment, lighting, HVAC and plugloads.
In addition to reducing energy use, the best way to optimize your score is to make sure every aspect of a building’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager profile is accurate and up-to-date including space uses, occupant and computer counts, and operating schedules.
How CodeGreen can help
Our team of benchmarking experts and engineers will work with you to determine the best approach to help you save energy and improve your Energy Star Score. We have helped over 350 million square feet of property optimize Energy Star Scores through profile updates and energy saving ideas.
Our team of benchmarking experts get the most accurate information from your building to optimize the profile and score as much as possible.
Our engineers work with your building operations team to identify energy savings opportunities through energy audits, commissioning, smart building solutions, occupant education and more.
And if your building is no longer eligible for an Energy Star Label, we can help you achieve recognition for your energy and sustainability performance through programs such as LEED, BREEAM, WELL or Fitwel certification.
Due to the dramatic drop in scores and the response from building owners, EPA is performing an additional review of the new scoring methodology. More information on their review process can be found on their website HERE.
Call us to find out how to optimize your building’s energy performance, reduce your energy costs, and lift your Energy Star Score!