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What is the significance of the ENERGY STAR score?

An energy performance score provides an external reference that helps energy managers assess how efficiently a building uses energy relative to similar buildings.

Rating the energy efficiency of a building is a complex process that involves ranking a building's energy consumption patterns alongside a peer group, normalizing for factors such as local climate and occupancy. An energy performance score does not by itself explain why a building performs a certain way, or how to change the building's performance.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager uses a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score: a score of 50 indicates median energy performance while a score of 75 or more indicates top performance.

Organizations can evaluate energy performance among their portfolio of buildings while also comparing performance with other similar buildings nationwide. Additionally, building owners and managers can use performance scores to help identify buildings that offer the best opportunity for improvement and recognition.

The performance score for Canadian buildings features the following:

  • 1-to-100 score for specific building types. (Natural Resources Canada is working to provide additional 1-100 scores for other building types)
  • a score of 50 indicates you are at the 50th percentile, that is, half of your peer group of buildings are performing better and half are performing worse
  • whole-building actual energy performance score and weather normalized energy use intensity
  • energy performance scores are based on the Survey of Commercial and Institutional Energy Use (SCIEU)  
  • data takes into account weather, operating hours, number of occupants, plug load, etc
  • energy use intensities available for almost all buildings: energy use intensity can be used for monitoring and tracking energy performance for those buildings for which no 1-100 ENERGY STAR score is available

Data used to develop the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score is based on the Survey of Commercial and Institutional Energy Use, a national survey of building energy consumption conducted by Statistics Canada.

How is the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager score calculated?

Based on the information you enter about your building, such as its size, location, number of occupants, number of computers, etc., Portfolio Manager's rating system estimates the energy intensity of your building. The tool then compares the actual energy data you entered to determine where your building ranks relative to its peers.

The calculations that the tool uses are based on source energy. The use of source energy is the most equitable way to compare building energy performance, and also correlates best with environmental impact and energy cost.

To estimate how much energy your building would use at each level of performance, Natural Resources Canada has conducted statistical analysis on data gathered through the Survey of Commercial and Institutional Energy Use, a national survey of energy consumption conducted by Statistics Canada.

Natural Resources Canada's rigorous analysis of the data for the eligible building types involved:

  • ensuring that the quality/quantity of the data supported a performance score with the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool
  • creating a statistical model that correlated the energy data to the operational characteristics for each building to identify the key drivers of energy use
  • testing the model against real buildings

For more information on scores, visit our Benchmarking technical resources and Technical reference documents.

ENERGY STAR scores for specific building types

Natural Resources Canada currently has seven building types eligible to receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score and is working hard to provide scores for other buildings types receive a score by visiting: ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for specific building types.

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