Build a better city with energy benchmarking
A municipality’s real estate portfolio may include many types of buildings, including offices, community and recreational centres, arenas and other sporting facilities, libraries, and warehouses. All of these buildings, despite their differences, have one thing in common: they all use energy, and that energy accounts for a significant part of a municipality’s operating budget.
Energy benchmarking is an effective way to reduce operating costs without compromising service levels. By tracking a building’s energy use and comparing it to the energy used by other buildings in your portfolio or across the country, you can identify both best practices and candidates for improvement.
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager can help you build a better city by providing you with nationally standardized, statistically valid, Canadian data against which to benchmark your buildings’ energy use.
Some of the benefits to benchmarking your city’s facilities:
- Lower operating costs
- Increased accountability and transparency
- Support for energy program and policy development
- A greener city that uses energy more responsibly
- Increased asset value for your real property assets
Watch this video (duration: 5:56) from NRCan to learn more about how ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager can help your municipality.
Municipal buildings and the ENERGY STAR score
Some of your buildings are already eligible for an ENERGY STAR score, and others will be soon. Right now, Natural Resources Canada offers ENERGY STAR scores for offices, K-12 schools, hospitals, medical offices and food stores, with new types to be added over time.
Municipal buildings not currently eligible can still benchmark using Portfolio Manager, which offers a host of other metrics, including energy use intensity (EUI). With national median EUI values available for more than 80 building types, there’s a good chance that you can find a basis for national comparison for all your buildings.
Is your municipality a member of the Partners for Climate Protection?
The Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) is the Canadian component of ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection network, and its members are municipalities that have committed to reducing greenhouse gases and acting on climate change. If your municipality is one of the more than 250 Canadian member cities, you may already be using the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ PCP Milestone Tool to track your greenhouse gas emissions and set targets for reducing them. Portfolio Manager can serve as a complement to the PCP Milestone Tool, helping you to track even more data about your municipality’s performance and contributions to provincial and federal government emissions and climate change targets.
Is your municipality considering mandatory benchmarking?
A growing number of jurisdictions in the United States have enacted policies requiring certain buildings to benchmark and disclose their energy use. While no Canadian jurisdictions have any mandatory benchmarking policies in place, some are considering it. Natural Resources Canada neither endorses nor opposes such policies, but we are committed to supporting municipalities in whatever benchmarking initiatives they choose to pursue.
For more information, or to find out how we can help your municipality’s benchmarking efforts, contact email@example.com.
Natural Resources Canada resources
- The Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund
- Partners for Climate Protection program
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Top Cities
- Ontario’s Municipal Energy Plan Program
- Institute for Market Transformation: Building Energy Performance Policy
- City Energy Project
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