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ENERGY STAR for Commercial Buildings – A Best Practice in Energy Efficiency. Alyssa Quarforth ENERGY STAR Commercial Properties September 25, 2008. 3 Take Away Points. Benchmark, Benchmark, Benchmark! Don’t forget the importance of O&M Be proactive through voluntary efforts .

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energy star for commercial buildings a best practice in energy efficiency

ENERGY STAR for Commercial Buildings – A Best Practice in Energy Efficiency

Alyssa Quarforth

ENERGY STAR Commercial Properties

September 25, 2008

3 take away points
3 Take Away Points
  • Benchmark, Benchmark, Benchmark!
  • Don’t forget the importance of O&M
  • Be proactive through voluntary efforts
energy star is

A voluntary public-private

partnership program

A strategic approach

to energy management

Energy efficient practices and products

Recognized by over 70% of Americans

An internationally recognized brand

Also recognized in Australia,

Canada, Europe, and Japan

energy star for commercial buildings
ENERGY STAR for Commercial Buildings
  • Nearly 30 percent of Fortune 500 companies are ENERGY STAR partners
  • Over 71,000 buildings, representing about 9.5 billion square feet of space, have measured their energy performance with ENERGY STAR
  • On average, ENERGY STAR buildings use 40 percent less energy than average buildings and emit 35% less carbon emissions
  • CoStar reports “ENERGY STAR office properties gross higher rents and higher occupancy rates than their non-ENERGY STAR counterparts.”
success stories
Success Stories

PepsiCo has saved more than $250 million since the inception of its corporate energy management program in 2000

Transwestern has invested $68 million in energy efficiency upgrades while increasing the asset value of its building portfolio by nearly $750 million

Food Lion’s energy savings since 2000 are equal to the energy needed to power 450 virtual stores, as if 37% of its chain uses no energy at all

Davenport Community School District reduced the annual energy cost per student to $88 compared to the national average of $181 per student

Marriott’s savings in 2006 equal a reduction in operating costs of 10 cents per occupied room night

energy as a percentage of total office building operating expenses
Energy as a Percentage of Total Office Building Operating Expenses

Data based on BOMA Experience Exchange Report

(Average of Urban & Suburban Non-Government Buildings)

energy star provides a standardized metric
ENERGY STAR Provides a Standardized Metric

ENERGY STAR Energy Performance Rating…

  • Provides a standardized, comparable metric of whole building energy performance
  • Compares the energy efficiency of one building against the energy efficiency of a representative sample of similar buildings (according to CBECS survey)
  • Uses a simple 1-100 “score” where 50 is an average building
  • Normalizes for factors such as weather, occupancy, operating hours, and other building-specific characteristics
benchmarking becomes a business practice setting priorities

Reward & Learn

Invest & Tune








Benchmarking becomes a business practice – setting priorities

Best investment opportunities are in lower quartiles - greatest potential for improvement

RCx & O&M improvements yield savings and label candidates

High scoring buildings provide lessons learned and label candidates

Energy Performance Rating


five stage approach

Benchmark to show cost, energy and carbon emission savings



Occupants’ Behavior


Use a staged approach

O & M

Five Stage Approach

Benchmark  Benchmark  Benchmark  Benchmark 

other opportunities with portfolio manager
Other Opportunities with Portfolio Manager:
  • Set baselines and target ratings, monitor progress toward goals and impact of energy and water efficiency improvements
  • Manage applications for ENERGY STAR labels and building profiles
  • Track carbon inventory
  • Perform financial and environmental assessment of behavioral changes and capital improvements (BUVC)
  • Monitor impact of property manager performance
  • Demonstrate increased value to clients and tenants
is your building performing well
Is Your Building Performing Well?

Is 80 kBtu/SF/YR high or low for a building?

Energy Performance

EPA Benchmarking

Fuel Efficiency


Is 18 MPG high or low for an automobile?

myth 1 age matters
Myth #1: Age Matters

My building is new, so I know it’s energy efficient.

new doesn t always equal efficient

Top performing buildings use 3 to 4 times less energy per ft2 than the worst performers.

Newer buildings are equally representedacross all quartiles.

Based on a sample of 4,000 buildings nationwide.

39% of buildings with a rating of 75 or better are less than 25 years old

42% of buildings with a rating between 25 and 74 are less than 25 years old

35% of buildings with a rating between 0 and 24 are less than 25 years old

Number of Buildings












EPA Performance Rating &

Energy Intensity


Best Performers

Worst Performers

New Doesn’t Always Equal Efficient
myth 2 technology matters
Myth #2: Technology Matters

I installed energy efficient technologies, so I know my building is energy efficient.

technology does not guarantee energy efficient performance
Technology does not guarantee energy efficient performance

Technology Doesn't Always Equal Performance...





1999 - 2001



61.4 kBtu/ft2/yr






Bottom 25%

226.3 kBtu/ft2/yr


Energy Audit

Motion Sensors

Note: “CBECS” is the Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey,

20 similar buildings 20 different energy use patterns
20 Similar Buildings – 20 Different Energy Use Patterns

20 Similar Buildings – Different Energy Use

improving operations and management strategies
Improving Operations and Management Strategies

1900 K Street, Washington DC

  • New Construction (1996) with energy efficiency in mind but oversized equipment
  • EPA Rating
    • In 1999  32
    • In 2006  78
  • Harnessed building automation systems to improve efficiency
    • VFDs on chillers to match measure demand
    • Improved operating standards – static pressure set points
    • Continuous tracking of energy use using EPA’s rating system
    • Improvements to lighting systems
  • Savings reflect synergy between building technology and energy management practices

Making the Most of the Staged Approach

  • International Square Case Study
  • Lighting retrofit and new VFD’s first
  • As a result of thereduced heat load, two3,800 ton chillerswere replacedwith two3,400 ton chillers

ENERGY STAR Energy Performance Rating = 84

current legislation
Current Legislation

Be proactive and ahead of legislation…..

Current Legislation including Energy Star benchmarking (examples):

  • State of California: Bill AB 1103
  • District of Columbia: The Green Building Act of 2006
  • State of Illinois: Senate Joint Resolution 27
  • State of Ohio: Executive Order 2007-02
  • State of Minnesota: The Next Generation Energy Act of 2007
  • City of Denver, CO: Mayor's Executive Order 123
  • Borough of West Chester, PA: Borough Ordinance
  • State of Virginia: Executive Order 48
  • State of Michigan: Executive Order 2005-4
washington d c mandatory benchmarking and disclosure for existing buildings
Washington, D.C. – Mandatory Benchmarking and Disclosure for Existing Buildings

Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008

All privately-owned buildings shall be benchmarked annually using the Energy Star® Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool . . . Benchmark and Energy Star® statements of energy performance for each building shall, by January 1 of the following year, be made available to DDOE. DDOE shall, upon the receipt of the 2nd annual benchmarking data for each building, make the data accessible to the public via an online database.

get started now
Get Started Now
  • Start benchmarking with Portfolio Manager

( )

  • Share your information DC BID and BOMA Master Account
  • Sign up for your next training ( ):
    • Oct 8th 1pm: Office Buildings – Rating Energy Performance with Portfolio Manager
    • Oct 15th 1pm: Commercial Real Estate – Best Practices in Energy Efficiency
  • ENERGY STAR Quantity Quotes ( )
contact information
Contact Information

Further Questions?

Alyssa Quarforth

Program Manager

ENERGY STAR Commercial Properties

Climate Protection Partnerships Division, US EPA

Email questions

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