How much energy your buildings use should matter to you. Using less energy will lower your costs and help your organization become more competitive.
Energy benchmarking is a key to using less energy. It lets you establish a baseline and then continually review your building’s energy use. It includes activities, methods or approaches that you can use to integrate energy efficiency in your organization. By doing so, you’ll know if your performance is on the right track.
Two types of energy benchmarking
- Internal benchmarking is where you measure your building’s performance against its own past performance or against other buildings in your portfolio.
- External benchmarking is where you compare your building to similar buildings in other organizations.
Make energy benchmarking a routine practice
Whether you benchmark internally or externally, by doing it regularly you can:
- Identify poorly performing buildings so you can improve them
- Develop a comprehensive energy-management action plan and build the business case for capital investments (retrofits)
- Achieve savings that will lower your energy costs
- Increase general awareness of energy efficiency among your building’s occupants, which can change their behaviour
- Create competition by comparing your buildings with similar buildings
- Participate in green building certification programs and various other environmental initiatives
Benchmarking is catching on with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
More than 16,000 Canadian building owners and managers are regularly using Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) adaptation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool.
This tool helps building owners understand the energy performance of their facilities. It also helps them gauge the effectiveness of the energy-efficiency initiatives they undertake.
Join the energy benchmarking movement today!
Learn more about energy benchmarking, its benefits and how you can become involved by visiting NRCan’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
Don’t wait any longer! Log in to Portfolio Manager and start benchmarking your building’s performance.
Best practices once you have benchmarked
Energy management best practices are proven, non-technical techniques that revolve around the "softer" issues of managing energy efficiency in your buildings.
When you use best practices, you can improve the way you train and communicate with your employees and building occupants. That can result in significant energy savings.
With some dedication to using best practices you can instill a deep-rooted, company-wide culture of energy efficiency.
Consider using the following practices.
Get support from your organization’s senior management
Support from the top creates a firm foundation for setting performance goals and integrating energy management into every aspect of your organization’s culture and operations.
Plan your energy management
Good planning involves routinely collecting and tracking energy consumption data to establish a baseline. It also involves prioritizing your energy investments, establishing budgets, managing your organization’s use of energy and making sure there is a person or group clearly accountable for managing energy.
Write a marketing and communications plan
You need everyone in your organization – senior management, employees and building occupants – to be involved in managing energy. To do that, you need to plan how you will communicate with them, whether through newsletters, email, posters or other methods.
Implement a training plan
Upgrading the knowledge and skills of building staff will help you achieve energy savings that you can sustain over the long term. It is important to maintain a training plan and a dedicated budget for energy management training.
A model for change
Energy consumption and cost savings opportunities result from the interaction of behavioural, organizational and technological changes.
This diagram illustrates the inter-relationship as it affects the energy performance of a building. The intersection of all three elements represents your optimal holistic and sustainable goal.
Integrating these elements is a continuous, dynamic process. It is important to keep this process in mind to establish the key conditions required to maximize and sustain your organization's energy savings.
Learn more about how you can integrate technological, organizational and behavioural aspects into your organization's energy strategy by reading our Energy Management Best Practices Guide (PDF).