Energy Benchmarking: You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure!

By Johanna Schweiss,
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator,
USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

The St. Louis High Performance Building Initiative’s 25×20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign is challenging buildings in our region to reduce their energy consumption by 25% by the year 2020!

Energy benchmarking is measuring a building’s energy consumption and comparing its performance to similar buildings. Benchmarking is the first step to conserving energy and money. You know the saying- you can’t manage what you don’t measure!

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is a free and secure online tool that tracks energy and water consumption, as well as the associated greenhouse gas emissions. Any building can use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark energy and water use, and all building types benefit from benchmarking! According to ENERGY STAR data, buildings that benchmark over 3 years see an average 7% reduction in energy use.

Participating in the 25×20 campaign is easy. The first step is to make the 25×20 pledge at www.25×20.org. Next, find out how your building stacks up against similar facilities by enrolling in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and entering one year of energy use data. ENERGY STAR allows you to easily share your results with the High Performance Building Initiative so we can track the region’s success. Once you’ve benchmarked your building, you can start using your results to make your plans to save energy & money.

We’re here to help you as you benchmark! Volunteer benchmarking mentors will be available to take you through the process step by step. Additionally, hands-on benchmarking workshops will also be available and the EPA offers free on-line training – get your building in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager with help from an experienced instructor.

In partnership with Missouri Interfaith Power & Light, the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council is offering resources to support faith communities as they benchmark and reduce their energy use. We will be offering grants to fund energy audits to congregations that participate in the 25×20 campaign.

Does your faith community want to conserve energy & money? Visit www.25×20.org to learn more about this campaign!