Energy benchmarking legislation is gaining traction with 13 jurisdictions and 2 states requiring the standard in medium to large size commercial and multi-tenant buildings. While that may seem like an insignificant number when looking at the US as a whole, the strategy has been adopted widely throughout Europe and is spreading not only across America but the globe. With the growing attention on innovative ways to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, it seems that energy benchmarking will move from trend to reality for most in the not too distant future.
Anything with regulation or legislation wrapped around it naturally makes you hesitant. You have enough data to collect and analyze all ready and the requirement of more will be time consuming and costly. In most cases this argument tends to be true. However, energy benchmarking is proving to be an asset in reducing facility expenses.
Energy benchmarking data is used in two ways. First, it allows a facility manager to track a building’s energy use over time. If any cost-saving measures have been enacted in the building, benchmarking data will tell the manager how effective those strategies are. Understanding how much energy is being used, and how makes it is easier to identify savings opportunities.
Second, by pooling data from many buildings in an area, the facility manager can place a single building’s energy consumption patterns in context. If energy data from two buildings of similar size and use are compared and one’s utility bills are much lower, the manager of the more wasteful building might ask himself, “What are they doing differently?” The strategy allows building owners to be collaborative in consumption reduction, helping to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel as a whole.
While energy benchmarking may not be required of many of you yet, you don’t need to wait for it to be to start implementing a benchmarking strategy and capitalizing on the savings. To be successful your energy consumption strategy must be comprehensive. Good benchmarking data depends on reliable, accurate meters that gather data over time for multiple energy variables, including power and water.
For more interesting information and emerging trends read “How Energy Benchmarking Ordinances Can Help Facility Managers Save Money” featured on www.facilitiesnet.com.