Some 35,000 buildings that used the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool to track and manage energy use between 2008 and 2011 realized an average annual savings of 2.4 percent with a total savings of 7 percent, according to EPA.
Buildings that consistently benchmark energy performance do, in fact, save energy, according to the most recent analysis in the Portfolio Manager DataTrends Series, the largest U.S. building energy benchmarking data analysis to date.
Portfolio Manager has become the standard national platform for benchmarking energy use in the United States. EPA’s DataTrends series examines energy and water benchmarking trends for the thousands of buildings in Portfolio Manager.
In its analysis, EPA translates energy savings into financial value, and says a 2.4 percent savings for three consecutive years means a cumulative energy cost savings of $120,000 for a 500,000-square-foot office building, $2.5 million for a medium-box retailer with 500 stores, $4.1 million for a full-service hotel chain with 100 properties or $140,000 for an 800,000-square-foot school district.
Buildings that initially use more energy, and therefore start with lower Energy Star scores, see more savings than their lower-consuming counterparts, according to EPA. Those that started with a score under 50 (the average energy efficiency score) in 2008 saved twice as much energy as buildings that started reporting with above-average scores.
More than 70 percent of all buildings (25,926 of the 35,000) reduced their energy consumption, with 90 percent of these seeing average annual reductions between 0 and 10 percent, EPA says.
Additionally, all types of buildings experienced savings, with retail, office, and K-12 schools realizing above-average savings.
The US Energy Information Administration said earlier this week that adoption of Energy Star rated appliance varies widely between types with Energy Star-labeled dehumidifiers and dishwashers having a market penetration of more than 95 percent in 2011 — the highest rate of adoption — while water heaters, desktop computers and freezers had the lowest adoption in the marketplace.