Building owners or managers often look at their building’s energy costs and ask: “How are we doing? How can we improve? Where can we save money?” Navigating the world of energy efficiency and understanding complex energy usage data can be daunting, and a building owner cannot address or manage energy costs if usage is not being properly measured.
CMC Energy Benchmarking can answer these questions by analyzing utility data and building information. We provide the tools that building owners and decision makers need to accurately gauge performance relative to other buildings in the marketplace. This was the case when CMC Energy was tapped to perform a benchmarking survey for a manufacturing client in Philadelphia. While certain city buildings are required to perform annual benchmarking studies (for example, buildings over 50,000 square feet), the owners of this company were simply interested in reducing costs.
Instead of a more intensive energy audit, CMC suggested a benchmarking study as a first step to determine what action should be taken to reduce energy consumption and save money. Benchmarking is an extremely effective and low-cost choice; the EPA estimates that benchmarking can reduce energy costs by 2.4% each year that a building goes through the process.
To track, analyze, and report energy usage, CMC Energy uses EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager, the national standard for energy performance benchmarking, regardless of facility type. CMC uses information provided by our customers: a building’s total square footage, number of employees, type of heating and cooling systems, hours used, etc.
Combining this information with the customers’ utility data, CMC can provide a summary of a building’s carbon footprint, usage patterns, energy costs, usage intensity (how much energy is consumed per square foot) and, when applicable, assign an Energy Star score.
What We Found
Results indicated that our client’s building produced double the carbon dioxide emissions of the national average and that total energy costs were 30% higher than similar buildings. The company was spending close to $15,000 per year or almost 60¢ per square foot more than it needed to each year—in a 25,000-square-foot building.
This discovery was highly motivating for the client. Based on our information, the building owners knew that immediate improvements in behavior and equipment were needed and that tackling issues identified by CMC would lead to cost savings. The client decided to proceed with a comprehensive energy audit that would include diagnostic testing, equipment schedules, on-site investigation and software modeling to determine the best approaches for their unique situation.
The strategies identified through a full energy audit can include air sealing and insulation, high-efficiency lighting and measures to reduce water usage. CMC will identify the driving force behind high yearly energy costs and offer solutions for major equipment replacement or fuel switching that utilizes rebates and incentive programs. In addition, CMC Energy has developed behavioral strategies to reduce peak demand for electricity usage based on staff training to stagger the times when electrical systems draw at their maximum or reduce unnecessary electric load altogether.
Energy benchmarking is an important component of CMC Energy’s growing portfolio of energy services. We are educating customers to help them identify when they are behind the curve and helping them to consistently measure their performance and save money on their energy usage.
Contact us to discuss our benchmarking and energy audit services.