Updates to ENERGY STAR® building metrics coming this August

June 20, 2018
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If you benchmark one or more properties in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, you’ll likely see a change in your buildings’ 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores and other source energy metrics after August 26, 2018.

That’s because EPA is updating performance metrics in Portfolio Manager based on the most recent market data available. This is part of EPA’s standard process to keep ENERGY STAR metrics as current as possible, and reflective of current market performance.


Which property types will be affected?

Because source energy metrics are being updated, all buildings benchmarking in Portfolio Manager are likely to see a change in at least some performance metrics. The following 1–100 ENERGY STAR score models will also be updated:

  • Bank branches
  • Courthouses
  • Financial offices
  • Hotels
  • Houses of worship
  • K-12 schools
  • Offices
  • Retail, including retail store and wholesale club/ supercenter
  • Supermarkets
  • Warehouses, including refrigerated, non-refrigerated, and distribution centers


How will this impact my ENERGY STAR score?

The 1-100 ENERGY STAR score compares your building’s energy performance to that of similar buildings nationwide.

The most recent market data available shows an overall improvement in the energy performance of the U.S. building stock in recent years. So when Portfolio Manager metrics are updated this August, ENERGY STAR scores and other performance metrics will, on average, go down.

Exact score changes for specific buildings or portfolios will not be available prior to the August 2018 release. Your individual building’s ENERGY STAR score may increase or decrease, depending on your energy use, fuel mix, business activity, property type, and other variables.



What else is changing besides updates to 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores?

In addition to updates to 1-100 ENERGY STAR score models, there will be two other changes included in the August 2018 metric updates:

  1. Data center estimates: There will be a new option to use estimated energy use for data centers. This option is designed for smaller data centers, within another property type, and where it’s not practical to measure IT energy use.
  2. Source energy factor: 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. However, 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.


What is the new available market data?

For most types of commercial buildings, the 1–100 ENERGY STAR score is based on the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, which is conducted every four years by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.

The latest CBECS data became available in 2016 and is based on the results of the 2012 survey.


When will the changes take effect?

The release date for all updated metrics is August 26, 2018. Users will see the updated metrics when they log in to Portfolio Manager on Monday, August 27.

The new calculations will be applied across all time periods, which means your scores and metrics for all historical benchmarking data will change—however if you previously earned the ENERGY STAR for your building, your building will be able to retain that recognition.

After the metric updates are implemented, EPA will not be able to provide “before and after” score changes for individual buildings or portfolios. If you anticipate needing to document changes, you can download your pre- and post-update metrics in Excel using Portfolio Manager reports. Instructions for downloading those reports are available here.


Can I apply for 2018 ENERGY STAR certification early?

YES! Apply now for ENERGY STAR certification…especially if your score is close to 75.

  • Applications submitted by July 26, 2018 will be assessed using currently available (pre-update) scores. Applications received before July 26, 2018, and which require no significant follow-up or changes, will be guaranteed to be approved and awarded certification using the existing score models.
  • Applications received July 26 – August 26 are not guaranteed to be approved prior to the score changes.
  • Applications received after August 26 will be evaluated using the updated score models.

All buildings that earned 2017 ENERGY STAR certification will be eligible to apply for 2018 certification using a “Year Ending Date” of April 30, 2018 or earlier. Note that EPA will not rescind prior ENERGY STAR certifications.


How can I learn more?

Visit energystar.gov/scoreupdates for details about the updates, guidance on how to prepare for the updates, and a communication toolkit for sharing this news with your stakeholders.

You can also join a webinar or view a recorded webinar at https://esbuildings.webex.comtto learn more.

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