What is an ENERGY STAR score

ENERGY STAR Score is an EPA-backed measurement of building energy efficiency that illustrates how your buildings compare to “neighbors” and buildings with similar characteristics. On a scale of 1-100, your score helps anyone in your organization determine your building’s general energy performance. While your score quickly summarizes building efficiency, it does not explain why your building is overperforming or underperforming benchmarks.

Because ENERGY STAR scoring gives a bird’s eye view of efficiency and consumption, it can be challenging to uncover the best tactics for improving your score. Despite this, there are many benefits of improving your score.

Benefits of improving your ENERGY STAR score include:

  • Significant Cost Savings. By improving consumption and efficiency throughout your building(s) and thereby increasing your Score, you can significantly reduce costs associated.
  • Long-Term Sustainability. Improving your building’s efficiency can also improve the resilience of your building in performing through unexpected weather conditions, disasters, and general wear and tear over time.
  • Obtaining a Clear “Snapshot” of Success for Stakeholders. Increasing your Score over time can demonstrate the success of your sustainability, consumption, or efficiency efforts to stakeholders and senior management.
  • Eligibility for ENERGY STAR Certifications. The Environmental Protection Agency offers opportunities to earn certifications and partnerships based on your building performance. These achievements can then be used for marketing collateral or brand reputation building.

We’ve put together a list of the top tactics to improve your ENERGY STAR score over time and reap the full benefits.

Set Clear Goals

Most successful projects start with a plan. A good tactic for improving your ENERGY STAR score is to set clear goals. In the new year, set organization-wide commitments to sustainability, energy performance targets, and new strategic initiatives that can improve efficiency.

For example, make it a goal to install energy-efficient lighting throughout an entire building by the end of 2023. Or, commit to an energy audit to improve efficiency. Most obviously, set a goal for what you want your score to be. The certification threshold is 75, so consider setting a goal of at least 75.

Goal setting can help you make more consistent improvements that will improve your ENERGY STAR score over time.

Use Contextualized Data

Reviewing your utility bills does not give you a full picture of consumption excess or conservation due to a common roadblock:

Your utility bill is not calendarized. Consumption and cost information typically covers a range of days that is not in line with a monthly calendar. Instead, your utility bills may cover a range of dates spanning across multiple months, i.e. January 15 – March 15, 2022. This can stifle your ability to compare consumption with internal monthly trend reports across your building. For example, a foot traffic report in February compared to March.

To better identify opportunities for improving efficiency, and therefore your ENERGY STAR score, you should review your utility bill with as much context as possible. By “calendarizing” your utility data, you can reevaluate your energy use data within the context of building foot traffic, behavioral trends, or external factors such as extreme weather conditions and temperature waves.

Review In-Depth KPIs

Along with goal-setting, you should also review other key performance indicators to improve your score. As mentioned, the EPA scoring system does not give a clear picture for where your organization’s efficiency gaps actually are, which means you cannot solely rely on the ENERGY STAR scoring model to improve your energy use.

At B3, we recommend benchmarking against the following KPIs to improve your energy efficiency and score overall:

  • Total energy costs
  • Potential savings
  • Total carbon emissions
  • Energy use intensity
  • Your building’s historical consumption baseline
  • Benchmark performance compared to similar buildings

These key performance indicators can help you quickly identify and resolve any efficiency gaps within your organization. You will need a robust energy benchmarking tool to accurately and quickly analyze these KPIs.

Invest in Energy Management Software

The most effective way to improve your ENERGY STAR score is to invest in comprehensive energy benchmarking software. Energy benchmarking software helps organizations across industries seamlessly integrate with Portfolio Manager to gain a more granular view of performance and efficiency gaps.

B3 Benchmarking helps businesses across industries–from property owners to municipalities and educational institutions–compare their buildings to historical data and similar buildings nationwide. Seamlessly integrating with your Portfolio Manager, B3 provides substantially more data-driven insights than Portfolio Manager can provide. B3 integrates with and expands upon ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, pairing monthly utility data and basic building information with real-time energy simulations.

B3 paints a clear picture of where any organization can save the most energy, ensuring your improvement team’s time and resources are dedicated to the greatest potential savings. To learn more about how B3 can help you meet your goals, improve your ENERGY STAR score, and transform your building efficiency, request a demo with our team.

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