How’s Your Energy Consumption Compared to Last Year?

By Andrew J. Pisani

Benchmarking filings are due every May 1st, and this annual event is a great reminder to review your building’s energy use with a year-over-year perspective.  Did you implement projects to save energy? Did they work? A Benchmarking history has much to tell.

While Benchmarking scores range from 1 to 100, most of ours hover around 60. Over the last years we’ve seen increased emphasis on buildings being built to higher energy standards, so newer buildings may in fact have higher scores. If your Benchmarking score is around 60, then you are in line with the average NYC building.

High scores are great – not only do they translate to energy saving and therefore profits, they may further lead to Energy Star designation and other benefits. Lower scores, not so much.

Lower scores signal lost profits. When you look at the scores year over year, the amount of profits left on the table has a newfound gravity.  These problems don’t go away, they only get worse, and the best step is to identify the underlying cause. Start with an energy assessment that looks at heating and electric consumption. If the building is large, so too are the losses, and the more dramatic step of an ASHRAE Level II energy audit may be the right move. Buildings that have completed LL87 audits may have the causes already documented in the audit reports.

Some buildings have decent scores, but just want to improve. Take the opportunity of the annual review to create a list of energy saving steps for the upcoming year. Look at incentives offered by NYSERDA and Con Ed – energy saving retrofits pay off over time.

If you haven’t taken the steps to convert to LED lighting, you may want to start. The payback is proven and the aesthetic issues are in the past. Con Ed has done the heavy lifting here, and their designated Marketing partners are capable to answer all questions and help get the job done.

As always, our friends at Green Partners can help you navigate through any questions and help with all your Benchmarking needs.