energy star

Energy Star Scores Updated This Week

  August 27, 2018

By Greg Zimmerman

Facility managers might want to log into their Portfolio Manager accounts to check their updated Energy Star scores. That’s because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated all scores on Aug. 26 based on calculations from new data. The EPA based the new Energy Star score calculations on data from the most recent Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey.

“The most recent market data available shows an overall improvement in the energy performance of the U.S. building stock in recent years,” according to EPA. This finding means that many current scores will go down a bit. For instance, the EPA estimates that an average school’s score will drop about 13 points, while an average office building’s score will drop about 12 points.

EPA is making two other changes during this update.

First, managers will have a new option after Aug. 26 to use estimated energy use for data centers. This option is designed for smaller data centers within another property type and where it is not practical to measure information technology (IT) energy use. The industry best practice and recommended option continues to be to separately measure and enter IT energy use when feasible. Read an FAQ on using data center estimates.

Second, the source energy factor helps level the playing field for different fuel types by tracing the energy requirements of the building back to the raw fuel input — coal, gas, steam, hydro, etc. Based on the national average, the new national source electric factor will be slightly lower. But performance metrics could increase or decrease depending on the building’s fuel-mix ratio, though changes based on this update alone with be comparatively small in magnitude. Read the source energy factor technical reference for more information.

I’d love to hear the way the latest updates affected your score. Please comment below, or email me at greg.zimmerman@tradepressmedia.com.

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his recent story about the new LEED v4.1 rating system.


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