In order to obtain a valid ENERGY STAR score, it is necessary to include energy data for the entire property, including all tenant and common areas. If you do not have whole building energy data, you cannot earn ENERGY STAR certification.
However, there is still tremendous benefit to benchmarking and tracking using whatever data you do have, and you will receive many other metrics to assist in your energy efficiency efforts. There are two options for benchmarking:
- Benchmark the energy you can measure – if you only track partial energy use (ex: only your common areas), you can benchmark this area. Although there is not an accurate ENERGY STAR score for benchmarking a subset of a property like this, you can still measure and improve your energy, cost, and emissions over time. From the Energy Tab in Portfolio Manager, click the “Change Meter Selections” link, this will allow you to indicate what portions of energy you are tracking (e.g. common areas only). We recommend you enter the total Gross Floor Area for the property, and as many of the Property Use Details that you have, regardless of whether you have the energy bill data for those areas within the property.
- Estimate your whole-building energy – you can estimate your whole-building energy consumption using measured data from a sample of the individual units. As a general rule, the more you can measure, the better. Any time you enter an estimated meter bill you must indicate so by checking the “Estimation” box on the Meter Entry page. Here are two resources to help you with this estimate:
- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has a sampling protocol for Multifamily projects
- The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released sampling guidelines in June 2015 as part of a Methodology for Completing a Multifamily Housing Utility Analysis.
- Ask tenants to provide the meter data upon request – This option works best when there aren’t too many tenants. To facilitate this, some landlords are including these requirements in leases. Or you can coordinate with your utility by getting a Tenant Release Form from all tenants.
This FAQ addresses long-term goal of helping building owners get whole building energy data.