• Wed. Sep 22nd, 2021

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Questions to ask before hiring a benchmarking expert

In 2009 with NYC Local Law 87 requiring buildings over 50,000 square feet to report annual energy consumption and usage, benchmarking was introduced. In 2016, with the enactment of Local Law 133, Benchmarking was extended to include properties with an area greater than 25,000 square feet but less than 50,000 square feet, increasing the number of properties (around 11,000) under its ambit. The law serves towards increasing the transparency of the building vis-à-vis energy consumption and also   facilitating energy efficiency with the followed awareness brought upon the designated owners and tenants.
This practice is a standardized process requiring building owners to use the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – online benchmarking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager.

Here are some questions you want to ask your benchmarking expert:-

Question 1) WHAT IS BENCHMARKING?
The obvious question – however, it is exceedingly crucial that the answer goes beyond the realms of general understanding pertaining to review, comparison and action taking but incorporates the narratives around sustainability and climate change.
Bearing awareness with what’s happening with the environment in order to holistically understand the legislations and where they’re coming from to optimize compliance with those as that is the ultimate goal.

Question 2) WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST BARRIERS IN ACTION TAKING TO REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF A BUILDING?
The objective is to maximize energy efficiency without the current or future plans/profits getting hindered. It’s crucial to know where to focus because sometimes the building owners might not have the luxury to care enough about energy efficiency, making the job a little harder. It’s best to have strategies handy for such tricky bottlenecks to appease the clientele’s profits as well as their compliance to the laws.

Question 3) WHAT ARE THE PROMINENT SHORTCOMINGS THEY’VE OBSERVED IN A BUILDING’S ENERGY MANAGEMENT?
With Benchmarking being the critical first step towards understanding building performance, the expert should know better than relying on mere commercial analytics because even though the tools enable operational savings up to 10%, they don’t address retrofit measures. Building software companies have yet to commercialize benchmarking and retrofit analytics on a broad scale and they must have tangible solutions for it.



QUESTIONS 4) SUGGEST A 5 STEP ENERGY MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

If you are to have one This should help with gathering subject knowledge pertaining to specifics. It should also help you gauge the candidate’s broader understanding. Any strategy must incorporate centralizing utility bill and interval metering data, improving operational efficiency on a priority, which further includes optimizing building and systems schedule (thermostats, lightning, BMS), reducing base load and peak damage charges, eliminating building drift, planning capital improvements, and also, communicating.  

QUESTION 5) HOW DOES BENCHMARKING AFFECT DIFFERENT TEAM PLAYERS?
A Benchmarking expert’s job is rather comprehensive and by default pours into the territory of all members of the team. Therefore, the expert must know who is affecting the building in which way and how can they possibly intervene for the better. Largely speaking, Facilities is supposed to take care of visibility, analytics, tracking, reporting; Occupants with engagement, sustainability, programs; Finance with budgeting, planning, normalization, M&V, etc.

Hiring a good benchmarking expert is a key to optimize on operability of any building, its energy efficiency, commercial profits, and to boost the overall performance and these questions should help you select the best candidate.

Article by Morain khan – working with digitalmarketingcrab.