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 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.