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Energy benchmarking technical information

Technical reference documents

Learn about the technical methodology behind the ENERGY STAR score and how ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts for factors such as climate and weather, green power, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Measuring energy: site energy vs. source energy

Learn about source energy and why it is the metric of choice in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Building energy use surveys

Learn about the building energy use surveys used to develop Canadian 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores.

Other technical information

Canadian data for Canadian buildings

The energy performance of Canadian buildings registered in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is measured against statistically valid and nationally representative data collected from buildings across Canada. This provides users with the most accurate representation of a building's performance by accounting for Canadian operating conditions.

The data used to determine sector medians and to build Canadian ENERGY STAR performance scores comes mainly from the Survey of Commercial and Institutional Energy Use, conducted by Statistics Canada for consumption year 2009. Natural Resources Canada is currently working on updating our data set through a new survey, to be published at a later date. For more information on this and other surveys, please see our page on building energy use surveys.

Greenhouse gas emissions factors

In addition to energy use intensity values and ENERGY STAR performance scores, Portfolio Manager offers a number of other performance metrics, including the greenhouse gas emissions associated with your building’s energy consumption. While these metrics are for informational purposes only and do not affect your scores, many organizations find them useful as performance indicators.

How Portfolio Manager calculates Greenhouse gas emissions factors

Portfolio Manager calculates each building’s estimated greenhouse gas emissions using methodology based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The factors currently used by Portfolio Manager to calculate emissions are mostly taken from Canada’s submissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and will be updated periodically. For certain fuel types, these factors vary by province, while the factors for others are calculated nationally, and in some cases, they may differ from those used by local utilities.

Portfolio Manager uses Canada’s submissions to the UNFCCC for a number of reasons:

  • They offer data for the whole country, calculated using consistent methodology.
  • They address the types of fuels typically used in buildings.
  • They are updated regularly, and can be expected to continue to be updated over the long term.

For more information, please see our technical reference on greenhouse gas emissions [PDF - 579 KB] or visit Environment Canada’s page on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Canada.

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