Benchmarked, an energy blog series, examines local businesses who have used EPA’s Portfolio Manager to track energy use.
Company/Property Name: Promark Real Estate Services, LLC / Shady Grove Professional Building
Name and Title: Kirk Alderdice, Property Manager
How many buildings do you manage? 10
What kinds of building uses are in your buildings? Office, medical office, retail, hotel
When did your company begin benchmarking? 2015
Why did you begin benchmarking?
Because Montgomery County recently passed a law requiring it, and we did it early because we want to be a market leader when it comes to responsible energy usage.
Who has done (in the past) and does (if different now) your benchmarking in Portfolio Manager?
Recurrent, LLC, has been, and continues to be, our contractor for all building engineering tasks.
How has benchmarking your energy use changed the way you manage your portfolio? What do you do now that you did not do before?
Benchmarking our buildings has been a real eye-opener. Although we thought we were performing well on energy bills, benchmarking in ENERGY STAR has shown that we’re below average nationally. This exercise has motivated us to take a closer look at our operations and seriously consider changes that will improve our performance even more than we already have. We see this opportunity as a win-win-win all around: benefits will accrue to the owner, the tenants, and the broader public.
Have you done anything that drastically improved a building score? If yes, what?
Yes – a few years ago we installed modern HVAC building automation controls, which greatly reduced our energy usage and costs. We raised our ENERGY STAR score by 20 points over 3 years.
What building’s energy performance are you most proud of, and why?
The Shady Grove Professional Building because a few years ago we implemented better HVAC controls strategies that reduced energy waste, and we’ve enjoyed the financial benefits ever since with no negative impacts to occupant satisfaction. We have even more improvements planned for the future.
What advice would you give for anyone benchmarking for the first time?
Take it seriously; don’t just “check the boxes.” Describe your building properly within ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, enter your monthly energy bills properly, and accept the score that ENERGY STAR delivers. If you score below 50, don’t deny the results or convince yourself that they’re invalid. Rather, view it as new information that will help you improve your property. Pick all the low-hanging fruit that you discover from this exercise!