Energy benchmarking is a process that involves calculating your energy use and comparing it to similar businesses across the nation. It’s useful for a variety of reasons, including saving energy and developing Energy Star scores, which reflect well on your business.
Why Energy Benchmarking?
When you measure your weight or your blood pressure, you’re doing so to see if your results are in a healthy range. You find that number and compare it with an established guideline. You look at healthy individuals in your age and gender range to see how you’re doing. If you’re healthy, you pat yourself on the back and keep doing what you’ve been doing to keep what you’ve got. If you’re overweight or your blood pressure is high, you research what can be done to improve your numbers.
Energy benchmarking follows the same process. Businesses measure energy usage and compare that number with other similar businesses. If their score is average to good, they keep doing what they’re doing. If the score is below average, the business seeks ways to improve it.
The EPA provides a way to use an Energy Star Score to compare your business to others like it. They categorize businesses into 21 different types of facilities so you can find what’s most similar to your own. Energy use is scored from 1 to 100. If your business earns a 50, this means your energy use is average; you use roughly the same amount of energy as other businesses in your category. If your score is 20, only 20 percent of businesses use as much energy as yours, so your efficiency has a lot of room for improvement. If your score is higher than 50, you’re more energy efficient than your peers.
If you’re more efficient, you keep more of the money you would have spent on energy use. Energy efficiency turns into profit.
You wouldn’t measure your weight or blood pressure once and never do it again. The first time you measure your business you’ll likely implement changes to improve efficiency. Regular benchmarking measures how well those strategies are working.
Benchmarking Causes Change
You can only tell if you’re ahead or behind if you have an established standard. Once you benchmark your company’s performance, you have data that will tell you which direction to go. Tracking your energy expenditures will highlight areas of inefficiency. Trimming waste will reduce consumption over time.
As you benchmark regularly and your scores improve, the money saved funnels back into the company.
When your company receives a score of 75 or higher, you can apply for the EPA’s Energy Star Certification to show your company is a good steward of resources. This certification improves your standing in customer’s minds and can singlehandedly raise the property value of your building.
The EPA provides benchmarking tools for existing commercial buildings and industrial plants as well as design tools for commercial buildings under construction or remodel.
Casto Tech knows buildings and building systems. We specialize in helping businesses optimize their energy efficiency. Together we can lead the way in saving money and saving the environment. Contact us today for a free estimate.