In 2015, California adopted Assembly Bill 802 (Williams, Chapter 590) requiring building owners and operators of all commercial, multifamily and mixed-use properties greater than 50,000 square feet to benchmark and publicly disclose building energy usage to the California Energy Commission.
AB 802 includes provisions for building owners and operators to obtain whole-building energy usage information directly from utilities, providing certain aggregation thresholds are met. The data access provisions ensure building owners can access the data they need to properly benchmark their building's total consumption.
Publicly disclosing the performance of a building or a portfolio of buildings will allow building owners and tenants to make better informed purchasing and leasing decisions. Additionally, this program will support the general public to better understand the buildings in which they live and work.
If we don't clearly understand the efficacy of our building management practices, how can we make fiscally and environmentally responsible decisions? Energy benchmarking is the best way to quantify the energy use intensity of a selected building and compare it to facilities within a portfolio and with similar facilities across the country. Benchmarking allows energy managers to see how their buildings perform over time as compared to other buildings.
To benchmark a building, owners, operators or tenants must gather utility data and building usage information for a 12-month period and enter it into a measurement and tracking tool, such as the U.S. EPA's Portfolio Manager®, developed through the ENERGY STAR® program. Metrics generated by Portfolio Manager® can help inform building management decisions regarding which buildings in their portfolio to focus on regarding energy upgrades and retrofits. Through benchmarking, we can make informed energy management decisions.
The first step to benchmarking a building is to create an account in Portfolio Manager, an online tool for measuring and tracking building energy and water consumption.
More information on the Portfolio Manager® is available here