Energy benchmarking for commercial office buildings
Benchmark your office to maximize performance
You can't manage what you don't measure. Commercial building owners and operators can no longer approach energy efficiency as optional; it's a best practice. Benchmarking the energy performance of your office space is the first step toward managing your energy. Continuous benchmarking helps you track energy and water use over time to identify areas that need improvement and can help you measure the impact of your actions.
By making your office space more energy efficient, you will not only reduce your energy consumption but also reap additional benefits of getting one step closer to becoming a "green building." Studies show that green buildings command a market premium and provide numerous other benefits including:
- increased building value
- lower vacancy and higher rental rates
- increased worker productivityFootnote 1
Becoming a green building and benchmarking with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® can also facilitate accreditation by top building rating systems including the Canada Green Building Council's Leadership in Environmental Design (LEED) program and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada's Building Environmental Standards (BEST) program.
Whether you own, manage or hold properties for investment, benchmarking with Portfolio Manager can help you set priorities, verify efficiency improvements and reduce your office building's carbon footprint. By measuring how your office building compares with similar office buildings across Canada, you will be able to identify poorly performing buildings, target investments to lower costs and become more competitive.
Collect the data you need to benchmark your commercial office space
The ENERGY STAR Score for Commercial Offices in Canada applies to facility spaces used for general office, professional, and administrative purposes. To be eligible for a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score, at least 50% of the building must be classified as office, and no more than 25% may be classified as a non-scorable property type.
In addition to your office’s basic tombstone information, you need the following data:
- Gross floor area
- Hours of operation per week
- Number of workers on the main shift
- Heating degree days
- Cooling degree days
- Percent of the building that is cooled
- Percent of the building that is heated
- Specific energy billing information for each building for all purchased energy. You will need to begin with at least 12 consecutive months for each energy source and update regularly with monthly usage data.
Note that the above information is not required to start benchmarking. You can start using the tool to track your energy performance no matter how much data you have. However, in order to obtain the 1-100 score or an energy use intensity value, you need the details above.
Apply for certification
If your office earns a score of 75 or higher and meets certain other criteria, it could be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. Learn more about certification and how you can apply.
Learn more about benchmarking and energy efficiency for commercial offices
Natural Resources Canada resources
- Canadian ENERGY STAR scores
- ENERGY STAR certification for commercial and institutional buildings in Canada
- Energy benchmarking technical information
- What is energy benchmarking?
- Technical reference document for commercial office buildings (PDF, 816 KB)
- Canada Green Building Council
- On the Economics of Green Buildings, Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (2010)
- Energy efficient office buildings, Sustainability Victoria
The ENERGY STAR and PORTFOLIO MANAGER names and the ENERGY STAR symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada.
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