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EnergySTAR is changing your score in August - here are 5 ways to prepare.

June 25, 2018

Starting August 26, 2018, buildings benchmarked in EnergySTAR’s Portfolio Manager (ESPM) are likely to see a different score, as EnergySTAR sets new metrics to drive building performance higher.

The EPA is updating performance metrics across the board within Portfolio Manager to be more reflective of current market performance. Updates will impact virtually every building type, a strategic decision meant to reduce the impact on mixed-use facilities.

Why the change?

EnergySTAR’s ability to compare buildings of like size, type and location is rooted in the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) which is collected by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) every four to six years. It is the magnitude of CBECS responses that allows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to generate statistically representative models for relative building efficiency.

Current Energy Star scores are based on 2003 CBECS results. Since that time, ESPM has become an industry standard for benchmarking energy performance. More organizations are voluntarily using ESPM to report on energy consumption than ever before. The anticipated change in EnergySTAR scores follows an update to use 2012 CBECS results in the calculation of scores. Not only does the survey include a larger number of results but it also includes a larger number of buildings that have implemented efficiency measures. Because ESPM measures relative performance, this means buildings that achieved a certain score in the past are not guaranteed to achieve the same score moving forward – and in most cases scores will be lower.

Knowing that this change will shake-up Energy Star 1-100 scores, EnergySTAR has released suggestions on how to prepare for this change:

1. Don’t wait to apply for 2018 EnergySTAR certification. First, no EnergySTAR certifications will be rescinded. Second, EnergySTAR is giving everyone a chance to earn 2018 certification using a “Year Ending Date” of April 30, 2018—even if you just recertified. So if your score is close to 75, you have until July 26, 2018, to recertify (you read that right; EPA can only guarantee use of the existing score model for applications received by July 26, 2018, even though August 26 is the official date for the update).

2. Download your data. If you participate in third-party certifications or incentives, you may need to have unadjusted data on hand. When the EnergySTAR changes go into effect, EnergySTAR will update historical data to provide a clearer picture of how your performance has changed over time.

3. Take advantage of EPA resources. EPA is hosting webinars, offering an upgrade toolkit, and promoting its fact sheet to make sure everyone (including your customers) are aware of this change. Get the EPA Resources & Factsheet here.

4. Avoid surprises and know where you stand - BenchmarkMyBuilding.com. Leverage free tools such as BenchmarkMyBuilding.com to benchmark your building performance and avoid any surprises.

5. Take action to maintain your score. Keep improving. It is important to remember that the changes we are about to see underscore decisions actively made by organizations to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. If you have already taken advantage of low hanging fruit like lighting retrofits consider the value of real-time energy management solutions that can identify ongoing inefficiency and areas for improvement.

Here is a summary of the impacts you can expect: