There really is a medical condition known as scintillating scotoma. It has to do with “seeing stars” often in association with a developing migraine headache.
But if you’re using EnergyCAP, we really want you to see stars—ENERGY STARs, that is.
The sad fact is that more than half of our current users have never submitted any building energy data to ENERGY STAR for a building efficiency rating. The process is virtually automated, the cost is zero, and the potential gains, in terms of favorable publicity, reporting compliance, and national benchmarking analytics are considerable. So if you are one of those clients that has never submitted data but has intended to start, now is a good time. We’ll show you how easy it is in this blog. Here’s a little background information:
The U.S. Department of Energy maintains a web-based application called Portfolio Manager that organizations can use to voluntarily share their building energy data with the ENERGY STAR program. You send your data to them, and they provide valuable building ratings, benchmarks, and analytics to you. But entering your building energy data into yet another software program wastes your valuable time and effort. So EnergyCAP does everything for you.
When you enable ENERGY STAR submittal for your individual buildings, EnergyCAP sets up a Portfolio Manager account for you, and then maintains it automatically! You never even have to visit or login to Portfolio Manager unless you want to. EnergyCAP knows exactly what data you need for a successful ENERGY STAR submission, so you don’t need to worry about whether or not your data is complete. And not only does EnergyCAP submit your data, but we display the results, as provided by ENERGY STAR, in an attractive dashboard graphic.
Using the EnergyCAP interface and related reports, you can find out exactly how many buildings have been submitted. You’ll receive information on how each building is performing from an energy management perspective. You’ll also be able to track your monthly 1-100-point building rating that compares your building’s energy use with similar buildings from across the country. Sounds like real value, right? Here’s how to get started:
NOTE: This procedure will only work for a building, not a larger ‘division” or for a meter.
To set up ENERGY STAR for a building:
1. Click to highlight the building you want to set up from the Buildings & Meters hierarchy (single-building icon).
2. Once your building is selected, click on the pencil icon to edit Building Properties. The Building Properties window with several tabs will appear.
3. Click the ENERGY STAR tab to display the ENERGY STAR settings for that building.
4. Click the Enable … checkbox to enable automated ENERGY STAR data submittal.
5. Click the Primary Space Type dropdown and select your Space Type.
6. Input the related Space Type properties below (will vary with the Type selected). If you don’t know the data, ENERGY STAR will supply default values. The more accurate your data, the more accurate the assessment will be. But don’t worry if you don’t have instant access to all the data points. Provide your best estimate, and that will be good enough to get your initial rating. You can perform a more detailed assessment of your facility at your convenience and reconfigure your Building Properties in EnergyCAP when more precise data is available.
7. When done, click Save.
One note about Additional Space Types: Many people forget to take parking structures into account when setting up building properties. If you have a parking area that is lighted, and those lights draw from the meter supplying your main building, then you need to identify the parking structure as an Additional Space Type so that the place is properly accounted for when assessing building energy use. For more information see our HELP documentation.
ENERGY STAR is an excellent program to bring greater visibility to your energy conservation efforts. It’s also a very good public relations and publicity program, especially if you can achieve building ratings of 75 or higher. Buildings with a 75+ rating can qualify for an energy efficiency recognition award from the ENERGY STAR program. This can often mean favorable press coverage and highly visible public recognition.
I encourage you to begin using ENERGY STAR automated data submittal today.
This is the third installment in our EnergyCAP Health Checkup series. See also: