ENERGY STAR metrics update coming August of 2018
ENERGY STAR scoring metrics are set to update in 2018
Starting in August of 2018, the EPA will be updating the dataset and scoring metrics used for ENERGY STAR certifications. These updates will impact the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for many buildings and in some cases may result in a lower score. Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the update and the underlying reasons behind it:
Why are the scores getting updated?
The EPA is in “the market transformation business”; as such, when the market moves, they raise the bar for ENERGY STAR scoring. The current ENERGY STAR scoring system is based on old data and, with the introduction of revolutionary new technology and a widespread paradigm shift toward sustainability in real estate operations, it’s time to adapt the process to these new factors.
What will actually be updated?
ENERGY STAR scoring for the last 14 years has been based on the results of the 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), which is conducted by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, the long-term trend of energy use in the US has been relatively stable over the last 30 years, and 2012 had a lower aggregate energy intensity compared to 2003. As such, the 2003 data used by the EPA is from a time when the nation was less efficient, and it’s important to update the data used for benchmarking to make it representative of present-day trends. Starting in 2018, the updated scoring metrics will be based on data from the 2012 CBECS, which is more relevant to the current nationwide performance of properties.
Along with the new data that will be used, the EPA is also updating their electric source factor, which will have an effect on all building types. EIA publications are changing how renewable energy sources, which increase power grid efficiency by about 10%, are factored into the score. The ENERGY STAR score of a property could increase or decrease depending on the building’s fuel-mix ratio.
How will I be affected?
The EPA estimates the updated scoring metrics will, on average, impact the following property types:
- Offices: -8 points
- K-12 Schools: -15 points
- Warehouses: +3 points
- Retails Stores & Supermarkets: -12 points
- Hotels: +2 points
- Worship Facilities: -8 points
Keep in mind that the changes to your own scores may differ from the above, as this is an estimation of the average change for each property type. Additionally, the EPA is going to be implementing additional updates for the scoring metrics of hotels in 2018; click here to learn more about the updates to hotel-specific score changes.
What happens to my previous scores and certifications?
The metric update will affect ENERGY STAR scores from every time period, including all historical submissions. Not to worry though; you’ll still keep any certifications you earned in the past! However, after the update, your historical scores will all have the updated scaling applied, so if you want to keep a record of your portfolio’s performance in previous years exactly as they were, make sure to export the data from Portfolio Manager before the August update.
How can I prepare for the update?
It’s recommended that you complete your 2018 submission before the update goes into effect, so that you can avoid being caught off guard by any unexpected changes next August.
The ENERGY STAR update explained
Watch the recording of our informational webinar. We’ve provided in-depth explanations of the update, its impact in different real estate sectors, and how it might affect you, and answered your frequently asked questions.