What is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is the ongoing review of building energy and water performance to ensure a building is using energy and water as anticipated—over time and relative to peers. It allows owners and occupants to understand their building’s relative energy performance and helps identify opportunities for increasing energy efficiency. Maximizing energy efficiency reduces energy waste, saves money, and helps mitigate climate change.
Benchmarking is a relatively fast and easy process, taking on average less than 10 hours annually. It requires no out-of-pocket expense to use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, the nationally-preferred tool to measure and track building energy and water use. Xcel Energy allows customer electric and gas consumption data to automatically upload to Portfolio Manager, making the tool convenient to use.
Benchmarking in Saint Paul
In Saint Paul, commercial and residential buildings are responsible for 62% of citywide greenhouse gas emissions. This represents a significant opportunity for energy and cost savings, as it is estimated that the average commercial building wastes 30% of its energy consumption due to inefficiencies. The first step to reducing energy waste is to develop awareness and understanding of a building’s efficiency, and in cities that currently require benchmarking, buildings have realized annual energy savings of 2-3% from just the process of benchmarking. (Source: Environmental Protection Agency).
By adopting the new Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, the City joined the 24 other cities that have adopted similar benchmarking policies, including Minneapolis, Saint Louis, and Kansas City. Building benchmarking and energy data transparency align with the City's vision to keep Saint Paul's property market competitive, enhance economic vitality, create green jobs, and initiate progress towards the City's climate and energy goals.
How Do I Benchmark?
- ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an online tool to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
- Xcel Energy Benchmarking Service User Guide: Step-by-step instructions to connect your Xcel Energy and Portfolio Manger accounts, so energy data can be automatically uploaded.
- Benchmarking Starter Kit for Portfolio Manager: Includes a step-by-step guide and data collection worksheet.
- Portfolio Manager Training Resources: How-to documents, annotated slide sets, reference sheets, demonstration videos, and a schedule of upcoming training webinars.
- Portfolio Manager FAQs and Questions Submission