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ENERGY STAR Scores Are Being Updated in 2018. Here’s How Your Scores Will Change.

More than 450,000 buildings that use ENERGY STAR may have different scores by year’s end. ENERGY STAR is updating all scores, including historical scores, with new baseline data.

After over a decade of operating with the same baseline, the 2003 CBECS dataset, US EPA’s ENERGY STAR is updating its scoring system to use the 2012 CBECS dataset. As buildings have improved their performance over those years, the scores will reflect these changes. The EPA expects some property types to change by as much as 16 points on average. ENERGY STAR predicts these updates will be available this August.


Why are ENERGY STAR Scores changing?

ENERGY STAR uses the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) produced by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) to establish its baseline from a national sampling of commercial buildings. The data to create the baseline in ENERGY STAR was collected 15 years ago, and building performance has changed drastically since then. The 2012 CBECS recently became available, and ENERGY STAR has been adjusting their baselines and scores accordingly.


How will my ENERGY STAR Scores change?

The main property types will experience the following changes, on average. This does not mean every score will change:

  • Offices: -12 points
  • Retail: -16 points
  • Supermarkets & Grocery Stores: -1 point
  • K-12 Schools: -13 points
  • Bank Branches: -10 points
  • Hotels: +1 points
  • Warehouses: -7 points
  • Worship Facilities: -9 points

The above numbers are average ENERGY STAR Score changes, and, even though the average change may be negative, the score for any individual building might increase, decrease, or stay the same. Not every office building will see a score decrease; that’s not the case. For buildings that do see score changes, some will be larger and some will be smaller than the average.

Scores and metrics for all property types will be updated, including historical scores. To preserve all past scores, download your ENERGY STAR scores and data from Portfolio Manager or from Measurabl. Although scores are changing, ENERGY STAR Certifications that were previously awarded will not be overturned due to the update.

In addition, the new data will allow data centers to have a new benchmarking option so they can include the use of Estimated IT Energy to get scores and certifications.

Of note: your Measurabl Sustainability Rating is not affected by ENERGY STAR Scores. MSR operates independently of CBECS data and ENERGY STAR.


What should I do next?

Certify your building early. If your building currently qualifies for an ENERGY STAR Certification today, it’s in your best interest to recertify your building before August to maintain that certification status.

If you have not yet had your buildings certified, whether it be a new certification or a recertification, you should apply now to obtain a valid certification. Certify by July 26, 2018; after this date, your building may be scored on the new system, so it will be much harder for your buiding to get certified.

Some properties will need additional data to maintain their ENERGY STAR Certification. For example, industrial assets will need to track the square footage for cold storages for the first time in “Use Details”. You should start collecting data on these updated requirements now to prevent a gap in accurate scoring when the changes are released in August.

Getting ahead of these changes is key to having the best portfolio possible. See how Measurabl can help you make sure your buildings don’t suffer from the changes.

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