ENERGY STAR to Update Metrics - Your Building Score May Go Down

June 06, 2018

Do you benchmark your building by using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager? If you answered yes to this question then you can likely expect your building's score to go down after August 26, 2018. Your score will not go down by any fault of your own but because of the overall improvement in the energy performance of the U.S building stock in recent years. 

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ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is a tool provided to benchmark buildings and rate them on energy efficiency. This program is in addition to ENERGY STAR programs which rank cities and states based on the number of energy efficient buildings they have. ENERGY STAR also rates equipment and appliances based on how energy efficient they are. 

ENERGY STAR uses a percentile model to give buildings their 1-100 score, rather than an absolute one. This means that the score given to a building is a comparison between that building and similar buildings. So don't be too worried, if your score is going down that means other buildings will be seeing their score dip as well. 

In addition to the scoring metric updates, ENERGY STAR will also be changing their metrics for data center estimates and for source energy factor

Updates coming to ENERGY STAR scores

The graphic above shows expected average score changes for different building use types. This will help you get prepared for the potential decrease in your buildings score. Here are the expected average score changes, with only Hotels expecting an increase:

  • Offices: -12 points
  • Schools: -13 points
  • Warehouses: -7 points
  • Grocery/Supermarkets: -1 point
  • Hotels: +1 point
  • Worship Facilities: -9 points
  • Retail: -16 points
  • Bank Branches: -10 points

ENERGY STAR has stated that exact score changes for specific buildings or portfolios will not be available until after the metrics change in August. Individual building's scores may increase or decrease depending on energy use, fuel mix, business activity, property type, and other variables.

If you recently received an ENERGY STAR certification for a building, this designation will continue to be honored, even if the building's new score would place it in a lower certification level. That is why it would be a great idea to certify or re-certify buildings before these scoring metric changes take effect.  

To read more about the updates to the ENERGY STAR building score system please go here.