There are several different ways to perform energy benchmarking in Ontario. This is when a company or business performs energy consumption analysis in order to discover where potential savings and efficiencies can be found.
Reports from Power Utility Companies
The first—and easiest place to start—is with a company’s utility bills for hydro, heating, and water consumption. Compiling data from these sources gives you a very general indicator of your overall power usage.
The cons of using your utility bills for benchmarking are the lack of sub-metering, as well as use of estimates in the bill. The data provided will not give a company a step-by-step process in order to save energy. Realistically, getting your utility bills is just the start of the process of energy benchmarking.
Energy Star Ratings
Energy Star ratings are used throughout North America, as they have high visibility on appliances. In Canada, Energy Star scores for commercial offices can fall between 1 and 100, and eligibility hinges on having a minimum of 70% office space.
There is also an Energy Star application called Portfolio Manager, an online tool created by the EPA in order to track energy and water use. Portfolio manager is popular in cities that have passed mandatory benchmark laws such as New York. The application is excellent because it allows you to see comparisons between your building to others across the country.
The specific needs of each business need to be factored into the equation. Is your business an office with lots of lighting and PCs or is it a factory where heavy machines run around the clock? These types of parameters will affect the amount of power used, which requires different industry benchmarks for suitable comparison.
Some industry-specific benchmarks come from the new ISO 50001 standard; resources provided by the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO); and tools that the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) gives to members.
There are tools like EnergyCAP energy management software that has both auto-groups and user-defined groups to compare usage between similar benchmarks.
The most accurate tool for energy benchmarking will be a professionally-installed energy management system that deploys in-house software tools tailored specifically for your building. This would involve setting up meters and software around your building. These kinds of tools work in real time to give you data and insights that you can act upon.
About PL Energy Services
Are you looking for an effective way to perform energy benchmarking that will allow your business to save money? If so, PL Energy Services is a leading energy firm that specializes in a wide array of energy-saving initiatives for commercial buildings. By conducting energy audits, we’ve helped clients to collect over $2.4 million and counting in energy rebates over the past two years. Contact us today to learn more about how to improve energy benchmarking for your building.