The EnergyCAP software works in tandem with the ENERGY STAR Automated Benchmarking Service (ABS); This functionality provides the means to easily and efficiently submit multiple facilities for participation in the EPA’s Energy Performance Rating System.
The EPA's Energy Performance Rating System
The EPA developed the National Energy Performance Rating System (“Performance Rating”) to provide a means to compare a building’s energy performance to that of similar buildings throughout the United States. By benchmarking a 'portfolio' of buildings, it is possible to identify exemplary performers, as well as below-average performers, in order to prioritize upgrade investment opportunities.
The performance rating is calculated on a scale of 1 to 100 using basic building data:
- Physical attributes
- Operating characteristics
- Monthly energy consumption
The rating is derived by analyzing the primary drivers of facility energy consumption and their relative impact on energy use, based on the Energy Information Agency’s (EIA), “Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey,” as well as other industry-specific data sets.
The EPA creates a model for each facility type by normalizing energy use based on the facility’s:
- Specific climate
- Space use
- Energy consumption characteristics
Then the EPA scores the facility relative to its peers.
Buildings that attain a score of 75 or higher and maintain a healthy indoor environment are eligible to receive the ENERGY STAR label. Building space types eligible to receive the ENERGY STAR label include the following:
- Computer Data Centers
- K-12 schools
- Financial centers
- Bank branches
- Residence halls
- Medical offices
Entire portfolios from organizations that improve performance measurably can be awarded recognition under the ENERGY STAR Leaders Challenge ().
Through the ENERGY STAR Buildings Program, the EPA has partnered with more than 1,500 commercial, industrial, and public organizations that have agreed to benchmark and upgrade more than 10 billion square feet of facility floor space. To facilitate the commitment, ENERGY STAR delivers the rating through a suite of online ENERGY STAR software applications. ENERGY STAR is now promoting the use of commercial energy tracking products as the most efficient method to obtain the rating for large portfolios.
EnergyCAP and the EPA's Portfolio Manager
In 1999, the EPA introduced Portfolio Manager, a Web-based tool that allows users to manage their facility data by entering existing facility information, such as energy and space use, to generate a rating. Portfolio Manager analyzes the data and determines the performance rating, as well as several other metrics based on the data entered. Users can set up a Portfolio Manager account and monitor their ratings over time by manually entering the building and energy consumption information.
The Portfolio Manager is a useful tool. However, entering data manually into Portfolio Manager and the organization’s energy management software could result in many hours of redundant data entry. Automating the creation of, and submission to, the EPA's Portfolio Manager through EnergyCAP greatly simplifies the process, eliminates any duplication of effort, and assures that all of the organization’s energy-related data is stored in one easy-to-access location.
Here are some additional items of interest regarding Portfolio Manager and the EnergyCAP interface:
- The first time EnergyCAP submits your organization data, a new Portfolio Manager account will be created. It will be automatically populated with all of the EnergyCAP submittal data.
- After the initial Portfolio Manager account creation, EnergyCAP’s Customer Service department will email you the login instructions for your new Portfolio Manager account in the event that you would like to review the submissions there. Although EnergyCAP manages your data submissions completely, there are several things that can currently only be done from within the Portfolio Manager including application for a building label (an ENERGY STAR plaque) or a Leader’s Award. Portfolio Manager can also display prior year ratings.
NOTE: If you have previously created a Portfolio Manager account for a building or buildings, EnergyCAP has no way of synchronizing with it. EnergyCAP will create a new Portfolio Manager account. Once you are comfortable with the EnergyCAP account, you can delete the prior PM account. Because EnergyCAP lets you submit all of your prior bills, you will still be able to see ratings in past years in Portfolio Manager.
More information about the EPA’s