What Does Facility Energy Benchmarking Provide?
Creating a facility energy benchmark is the simplest method for measuring and assessing the energy usage patterns of your facility. When energy usage patterns are compared to the facilities operational hours and equipment, it becomes readily apparent if energy usage is out of balance. Benchmarking is a critical analysis tool to use when deciding if an energy measure is appropriate for the facility. The benchmark lays the foundation to ensure “sustainability of savings” for any energy measures implemented at the facility.
California Benchmarking Legislation
Assembly Bill 1103 (Ab1103) went into effect in July 2014 mandating that commercial facilities be benchmarked when sold, refinanced or leased. The intent is to inform the prospective owner or tenant of the energy efficiency rating of prospective buildings. A secondary benefit of this legislation has been the discovery of energy use issues in many of these facilities such as improper billing rates, after hour’s usage, improper metering and energy savings measures of all kinds.
Assembly Bill 758 (Ab758) has pending legislation which will further address California’s existing building stock. These measures will expand upon AB1103’s benchmarking and facility energy improvements.
Case 1: 37,000 SF Southern California Commercial Office Building Anticipating a Purchase Offer
Reason for Energy Benchmark: AB1103 compliance, sale of a commercial office building over 10,000 sqft.
An Energy Star Benchmark score of 36 out of a possible 100 indicated operational efficiency well below average (50) for this building type. Analysis of utility bills indicated considerable gas and electricity usage during the hottest month of the year. A site visit verified simultaneous heating and cooling throughout the building. Another factor in the excessive energy usage was found in the low cooling set-points of (66°-72°f) throughout the building. All told more than $45k of annual HVAC energy savings measures was identified due to simple investigation of the low Benchmark score.
Regardless of the age or design of a facility’s HVAC system, supervised maintenance and operational procedures are essential for minimizing utility costs and maximizing the efficient use of energy resources.
Reno Contracting – A Leader in Sustainability
Reno Contracting Efficient Sustainable Practices division provides Energy Star Benchmarking services to help facility owners understand how their building compares nationally with others based on energy and water usage. Reno ESP will use this benchmark as a starting block to help advise clients of potential utility saving retrofits. To help better understand where their existing building is using the most resources, Reno ESP completes different levels of audits. We use the findings to identify utility saving measures and compare them with available rebates and anticipated utility and life-cycle savings to generate a financial picture that steers clients towards measures that provide the highest return on investment. Through this process, Reno ESP helps clients achieve significant utility savings by making sure all existing mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are running as designed and as efficiently as possible.