Do you know whether your green building approach is working every month? If you don’t, benchmarking energy efficiency is the way to do it. The energy benchmarking process involves reviewing the monthly energy performance of your building.

The method helps determine whether the energy consumption of your building is the same as that of similar buildings. At times, energy efficiency benchmarking can also help analyze a building’s energy efficiency against its past performances. Benchmarking helps measure the energy performance of buildings through the following indicators:

  • Maintenance cost per square foot
  • Occupancy rates
  • Water consumption per occupant
  • Utilities cost per occupant
  • Maintenance cost per square foot
  • Percent of waste diverted

All the performance metrics for individual buildings can easily be compared to industry benchmarks. Dive into this article to explore the ten ways to begin the sustainability benchmarking process for NYC building owners.

1. Compare Energy Performance

When you benchmark your building for the first time, you will receive an energy performance baseline. Use it as a reference for measuring all your future energy assessments. It ensures that you can determine changes in the energy consumption patterns of your building over time. Moreover, you will be able to set objectives for the next energy benchmarking ordinance.

2. Assess the Utility Bills

Before you benchmark energy levels for your building, it’s crucial to consider utility bills. Usually, building owners need to take into account the utility bills for 12 consecutive months. It helps gain important insights about your building energy efficiency patterns. Additionally, it helps in finding inefficiencies in the energy consumption of your building. 

3. Consider Factors Affecting Energy Usage

After looking at energy efficiency trends from utility bills, you will realize a decline or upheaval of energy consumption during certain periods of time. This fluctuation is particularly influenced by weather. It will ensure that you can set the benchmarking levels for certain periods accordingly. 

4. Pick the Right Way to Benchmark

Building owners can focus on historical benchmarking or benchmarking against a portfolio. Historical benchmarking involves comparing a building’s energy performance from year to year. Meanwhile, benchmarking against a portfolio involves comparing the energy efficiency of a building against its peers. Building owners must carefully choose against what they want to benchmark their energy performance. 

5. Leverage Diagnostic Software Solutions

A majority of commercial buildings don’t have any feedback available on energy performance. While utility bills provide some insights, they make it difficult to target specific areas for energy savings. Currently, you can use different energy benchmarking software solutions to acquire valuable information. 

You will be able to gather targeted energy performance details with only basic data inputs. It will ensure that you identify different energy efficiency opportunities for easy NYC Local Law 84 compliance. Therefore, the software solutions are useful for going beyond a stagnant benchmarking score by focusing on monthly utility bills and a few building characteristics. 

6. Think About Goals

A major reason behind energy benchmarking is Local Law 84 compliance. However, building owners can also achieve several other objectives using the energy benchmarking process. For instance, building owners can easily enjoy energy cost savings. Once you identify the goals you want to achieve, you will be able to set your energy benchmarking levels accordingly. 

7. Explore Energy Efficiency Measures

A major challenge to achieving energy efficiency is the uncertainty of the measures taken. If you want to avoid this, you will have to explore all the energy efficiency measures that you can implement to achieve your goals. It’s crucial to understand what will work for your building and what won’t before implementing the measures. 

For instance, installing upgraded HVAC systems might be an unnecessarily expensive investment if it can’t help your building achieve the projected savings. New lighting systems won’t be able to deliver the required energy conservation benefits if building residents keep the lights on for long hours. Therefore, it is crucial to analyze occupant behavior, maintenance efforts, and operator experience before choosing energy efficiency measures for a building. 

8. Teach Occupants Energy-Saving Practices

You can always ask the building residents to switch off their lights when not required. But it will be more effective when you can reveal to them the actual cost-savings associated with switching off lights. Once you are fully aware of the energy consumption patterns of your building, it will be easier for you to convince the occupants to resort to better practices. 

The energy benchmarking process helps recognize behaviors and areas that are draining energy resources. It also helps with recognizing equipment and behaviors that are doing well in terms of energy usage. Therefore, you will be able to adopt the same behaviors and choose the same equipment for the whole building. 

9. Implement Energy Efficiency Measures

The benchmarking process is an efficient way of engaging building tenants in energy efficiency measures. If your building is tenant-occupied, they will be responsible for consuming more than half of the total energy in the building. Therefore, tenant interaction remains a crucial part of energy efficiency. 

Benchmarking is useful for offering tangible benefits to both building owners and tenants to increase energy efficiency. By evaluating energy performance levels, you will be able to implement performance improvement practices and strategies for improving overall building operations.  

10. Monitor and Adjust the Energy Efficiency Measures

The building energy benchmarking program does not end after implementing the required measures. You also need to constantly monitor the energy efficiency measures and make adjustments accordingly. It is important to keep track of the energy efficiency measures that offer positive results for your building. 

If a particular energy efficiency measure does not work for you, there’s no point investing in it. Therefore, monitoring the measures and making adjustments will help you get the best returns on investment. It will also ensure that building owners can embrace evolving benchmarking approaches and get past all challenges that prevent them from offering the best returns to different stakeholders.

Parting Words

The energy benchmarking process is integral for improving the energy efficiency of your building. A detailed and accurate energy benchmarking report will minimize the GHG emissions of your building and ensure LL84 compliance. Therefore, consult the experts at NYC Building Benchmarking today!


What is the energy benchmarking method?

The energy benchmarking method is useful for evaluating the energy performance of a building. The energy performance of the building is either compared to other similar buildings or against the past performance of the building. 

What is the benchmark in energy audit?

The benchmark in energy audit is the standard against which the energy consumption of a building is measured. A few common benchmarks in energy audit include Energy Star benchmarking, regulatory requirements, and industry-specific requirements. 

What is the benchmarking report of energy use?

A benchmarking report of energy use contains a detailed analysis of the energy consumption of a building. The report provides several energy efficiency recommendations and improvements. 

What is benchmarking used to measure?

Benchmarking is useful for measuring the energy consumption of a building. It helps in determining whether a particular building follows energy efficiency standards. 

What is benchmarking in power quality?

Benchmarking in power quality is useful for analyzing the overall structure of a power quality program. The power quality benchmarking process begins with determining the metrics to measure service quality.


Published On: September 7th, 2023 / Categories: Energy Efficiency /