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Proactive facility managers already have taken steps to respond to the new metrics.
“We knew it would be hard for our portfolio,” explains Sara Neff, senior vice president of sustainability at Kilroy Realty. “Everyone took this hit. However, we are committed to sustainability. So we believe we should be compared with current buildings like ours.”
Kilroy completed its audits for recertification before the August announcement, buying them another year to make adjustments. “Our old scores are still good until next August,” explains Neff.
Neff’s commitment to Energy Star certification remains strong, both financially and practically. “We have some leases based on Energy Star certification,” says Neff. ”We also have investor disclosures to consider.”
“We completed our audits for recertification so that we had time to target energy efficiency actions. Also, we believe that the new reporting standard will be clearer, as EPA completes its review period,” Neff observes.
Bill Perhacs, associate director of global energy services at Bristol-Meyers Squibb also anticipates that his buildings’ numbers will go down.
“When the time comes, we will measure our buildings with the new system, which is scored differently,” he says. “We’ve already prepared ourselves that our scores may change. And, if we fall off, we’ll work hard to get back on, because we love the recognition of having Energy Star certification.
“That Energy Star certification sticker should mean something,” Perhacs adds.
“Honestly, we are not going to change our program,” he says. “We’ll score our buildings, and if retaining certification requires more aggressive measures, we are prepared to do that.”
Patrick A. Costello, manager of energy and sustainability services at OSF HealthCare actually is looking forward to new metrics for hospitals and medical office buildings. “We have a continuous improvement philosophy,” he says. “So, if the baseline changes, we will strive toward that improvement.”
Now that the updated models are live in Portfolio Manager, EPA has implemented a review period. During the review period, EPA is soliciting feedback on the application of the new models on various commercial building sectors and the resulting scores. EPA plans to work with stakeholders and technical experts in conducting the analysis, adjusting scoring models as needed.
Further evaluation of score changes for U.S. buildings of different sizes, locations, and fuel mixes will be conducted, along with additional analyses as stakeholders update their data and calculate their revised scores in the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool.
During the review period, EPA will temporarily suspend awarding certifications for all U.S. property types with new score models. EPA will begin accepting certification applications by property type as each model is evaluated and finalized.
The analysis and revised scores for building types with new score models are expected to be completed before next spring’s benchmarking reporting requirements.
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