Energy Benchmarking Dubai, UAE

Energy Benchmarking in UAE

At present, where sustainability is a global concern and with energy cost constantly rising, local governments and international organizations have fervently raised awareness on the importance of energy benchmarking as a key step for energy management to proactively systematize and organize the management of energy use in buildings and satisfy both economic and environmental requirements.

Energy benchmarking “is a method used to determine whether a building is using more or less energy than its peer facilities with similar occupancies, climates, and sizes”. This practice intends to lower the energy consumption by enabling large and small property owners alike to measure and monitor the energy cost and consumption of a building through baseline establishment and energy accounting, and assess opportunities for energy savings.

Building energy benchmarking can also be an internal process by evaluating the building’s performance in comparison to its own past performance. Whether external or internal, energy benchmarking provides data that encourages facility managers and building owners to strive for continuous improvement, making it a powerful catalyst for improving the energy efficiency of the built environment.

Energy Benchmarking

Energy Benchmarking is a method used to determine whether a building is using more or less energy than its peer facilities with similar occupancies, climates, and sizes. Benchmarking is done by taking a building’s total energy use and dividing it by the building’s total area. This number frequently referred to as the Energy Usage Intensity or EUI, is then compared to buildings of the same use type (ex. Office Space) to determine how efficiently the building is utilizing energy. Through energy benchmarking, building auditing can then be pursued more effectively when determining which buildings are inefficiently using energy.

Benchmarking is useful for state and local government property owners and facility operators, managers, and designers. It facilitates energy accounting, comparing a facility’s energy use to similar facilities to assess opportunities for improvement, and quantifying/verifying energy savings.

Commercial building energy performance benchmarking is a foundational element of an organization’s energy management strategy because you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Across many commercial building markets, the practice has become standard operating procedure as energy costs and associated environmental and sustainability issues have raised awareness around the importance of energy management.

The benefits of benchmarking

In today’s marketplace, superior energy management is a significant competitive advantage, but in order to effectively manage your energy consumption, first you have to understand it. It is a known fact that millions of dollars are wasted every year by energy inefficient buildings. Why not reverse this trend in your organization?  Energy benchmarking is a proven energy management strategy that can positively – and relatively quickly – impact your bottom line and make sure your organization comes out on top.
The benefits of benchmarking your building’s energy usage are undeniable. Energy benchmarking:
Through benchmarking, the key metrics for assessing the performance of a building or portfolio of buildings can be identified along with a facility’s key drivers of energy use. Benchmarking is an important tool that cannot be overlooked for improving energy performance.
Energy Benchmarking in Dubai, UAE

Developing A Benchmarking Plan

A planned approach to benchmarking helps create a more viable and usable benchmarking system. The plan should determine the purpose for the benchmarking program and the intended audience for the program results. It is important to identify the metrics necessary for communicating the results appropriately and recognizing the data needed to produce those results. The plan should evaluate the roles of the benchmarking team members, how the data will be collected, and how the plan will be implemented.
The following steps provide a framework for designing a benchmarking plan:
  1. Establish the goal for benchmarking
  2. Secure buy-in from leadership
  3. Build a benchmarking team
  4. Identify output metrics
  5. Identify data inputs
  6. Select a benchmarking tool
  7. Determine the collection method
  8. Consider a data verification process
  9. Evaluate analysis techniques
  10. Communicate the plan
  11. Plan for change

Benchmarking Tools

A wide variety of benchmarking tools are available. Tools vary depending on capabilities and cost, ranging from simple spreadsheets to custom-designed Web-based tools. The benchmarking tool selection process is driven by the goals of a benchmarking program. When evaluating data management systems, ensure that the requisite outputs can be generated by the tool and evaluate the data inputs required. It is helpful to compare the capabilities of several tools and consider consulting a peer when evaluating data management systems.

Outreach & Engaging Partners

Outreach, engagement, and communication are key to a successful benchmarking program. Buy-in and participation from organizational leadership ensures the program receives the resources it requires and helps others involved see the program as important and worthwhile.Creating a comprehensive benchmarking plan and clearly communicating it to the team members helps all involved personnel understand the specific actions required of their roles and demonstrates the usefulness of the program and how the data collected drive program impact.Holding kickoff meetings and launch events will get the project off to a strong start, and regular check-ins will help monitor progress and maintain momentum. Providing training to team members ensures data quality and provides opportunities for professional development.

Data Collection

Identifying the data needed to measure and communicate results is the first step of data collection. Data collection is aided by establishing clear roles and identifying avenues for data access. It is important to account for the datasets necessary for benchmarking. This could include inventorying facilities and basic space characteristic information, asset information, operating characteristics, energy project timelines, cost information, and energy consumption data. Delegating collection responsibilities may help create a more manageable process and can empower end users in the decision-making process.

Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and Data Verification

After collecting data, some processing is required to ensure the information is accurate or reasonable. This process may vary depending on the level of detail needed and the analysis intended. Use the verification process to promote accurate and transparent reporting. Consider the following when developing a verification process:

Analyzing and Interpreting Results

Analyzing and interpreting benchmarking results facilitates data-driven decision-making. The level of analysis will depend on the detail of the data collected. A few basic analysis techniques include:


Energy Benchmarking in Dubai, UAE
Once the data have been analyzed, it is important to communicate the results in a manner appropriate to the audience. The information needed by facility managers versus financial decision-makers will likely take different forms. It is important to understand the common language and metrics used for decision-making and implementation by the target audience. Portfolio Manager scores are one commonly used and widely understood metric for communicating results. It is also helpful to incorporate results into existing reports so data-based decision-making is integrated with current practices.

Barriers to energy benchmarking

Reliable energy benchmarking data is a key contributor to increased energy efficiency, but a number of perceived barriers can sometimes discourage organizations from starting the process. Some commonly cited barriers to energy benchmarking are listed below, along with tips and resources for getting past them.
Benchmarking remains a continuous process to ensure improvements in facility management. This can aid organizations in determining the exact improvements needed to attain and sustain high-quality performance.