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Tools for Better Benchmarking

MeterIQ Input Template (download)

U.S. Army Facilities

Installation Benchmarking Tool (Download)
U.S. Army FY07 Installation Energy Use Data by Fuel Type
U.S. Army FY06 Installation Floor Areas by Space Type
Administrative Buildings Benchmarking Tool (Download)
Barracks Benchmarking Tool (Download)

Commercial Buildings

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has benchmarking tools available for 10 prominent U.S. building types. These tools address both electric and non-electric fuels simultaneously (whole-building energy use) within each tool and also normalize for the key drivers of energy use specific to each building type. They represent the state-of-the-art in energy performance benchmarking for commercial buildings.

Portfolio Manager is EPA's tool that allows users to track the energy performance of and benchmark buildings within their entire portfolio. Portfolio Manager operates on monthly energy use data. It is also used to support the qualification process for the Energy Star performance recognition available from EPA for high-performance buildings. This tool is widely used by both the private and government sectors.

Go to EPA's Portfolio Manager Tool

Target Finder is EPA's tool that allows a user to estimate an energy performance benchmark or target for a new building design. With this in hand, a user can test their design options toward achieving a desired performance target. Target Finder operates on annual energy use data.

Go to EPA's Target Finder Tool

Office Buildings

Benchmark the electric and non-electric energy use of your office building against that of similar U.S. buildings. These Excel-based spreadsheets allow you to benchmark your building against regional distributions. The tools also normalize for factors which were found to be the most important secondary drivers of electric and non-electric energy use in office buildings (occupant density, personal computer density, operating hours, and heating fuel type). The more up-to-date evolution of these types of tools (now based on total energy use) is available in EPA's Portfolio Manager Tool (see above).

Download Electricity Use Benchmarking Tool
Download Non-Electric Energy Use Benchmarking Tool
Read Introduction to Excel-Based Benchmarking Spreadsheets

(Basis: Analysis of 1442 office buildings in U.S. Energy Information Administration's 1992 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey)

K-12 Schools

What are the key characteristics in K-12 schools that impact school energy use? These characteristics are summarized in the survey forms below and should be part of your school surveys if energy evaluation or performance comparisons between schools is one of your goals.

Energy Use and Characteristics Survey (text version)
Energy Use and Characteristics Survey (spreadsheet version)

Create Your Own Benchmarking Distribution

The following spreadsheet tool will create a benchmarking distribution from your data.

Efficiency chart

Use data from multiple buildings in your state, city, school district, or other local area to create a distribution specifically representing buildings in your area.

The distribution created will only be normalized for floor area, the most dominant influence on energy use in most buildings. Floor area normalization alone, while it ignores other important normalization issues within a building, often provides a good approximation of how your buildings energy performance will compare to others. If your building has operating features outside of the most common conditions for your specific building type (e.g., 7-day-per-week operation versus more normal 5-day operation or high occupant densities such as in a call center office building), benchmarking based on simple floor area normalization alone can easily cause you to inaccurately judge the performance of a building.

Last update: January 14, 2008