The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched an upgrade to its widely used ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager program, the energy-benchmarking tool for commercial buildings. The revised tool incorporates several features to improve usability and has enhanced reporting features.
The benchmarking program, first used in 2000, has been used as the
basis to award ENERGY STAR ratings to a variety of building types.
Since the end of 2012, more than 20,000 multifamily properties have been
benchmarked in Portfolio Manager, representing three billion square
feet of multifamily space.
EPA is still evaluating the feasibility of developing a 1-100 ENERGY STAR rating for the multifamily asset type and expects to have a decision later this year. In the meantime, several cities are using the Portfolio Manager program as the platform to collect data on building energy performance. According to a recent EPA data analysis of more than 35,000 buildings, those that consistently benchmark energy use save an average of 2.4 percent per year.
Additional information on the Portfolio Manager program, including training sessions on how to use the tool, is available at http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/training.