What is an Energy Benchmark?


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This short e-book will describe what a energy benchmark is and the elements involved in undergoing a benchmark initiative.

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What is an Energy Benchmark?

  1. 1. What is an Energy Benchmark?<br />This short e-book describes the key elements involved in completing an energy benchmark initiative.<br />March 2011<br />Informative Document<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />Today large and small organizations alike recognize the strategic impact of energy and sustainability challenges on their business including:<br />Meeting industry standards, such as, LEED and BOMA BESt<br />Publicly report energy performance with confidence<br />Continually reduce operating costs<br />And demonstrate a ‘sustainable’ building environment <br />Identifying challenges is the first step, but now what? Our experience has shown the completion of a benchmark is a ‘best practice’ first step to respond to your energy and environmental challenges and will serve as an effective foundation to create a roadmap for ‘best results’. <br />This short e-book will describe what a benchmark is and the elements involved in undergoing a benchmark initiative. <br />
  3. 3. What is an Energy Benchmark?<br />When speaking about any benchmarking process, we’re really talking about comparing performance against something else. When completing an energy benchmark you must make three comparisons. These comparisons are:<br /><ul><li>Performing an internal benchmarking analysis;
  4. 4. Comparing data to industry datasets; and
  5. 5. Comparing data to 3rd party datasets. </li></ul>An effective benchmarking exercise should explicitly take into account the above three data sets to determine the following metrics.<br />
  6. 6. Why Benchmark?<br />Benchmarking allows you to determine where your company currently stand, as well as determine what is possible, opening up a strategic path to get your organization to best results faster, more profitably, and with lower resource requirements by clearly identifying what your gaps and opportunities are.<br />Benchmarking exercise is an essential first step in developing an enterprise energy and environmental management strategy.<br />
  7. 7. What’s Required to Begin?<br />In order to begin a benchmarking exercise, its important to have energy data that is of good quality. One year of data is enough, but two years is what is recommended in order to filter out some of the noise and establish some trends in performance. Companies should gather electricity and natural gas data at a minimum, and water data where possible. Other sources of energy consumption such as fuel, oil, propane, and steam can also be collected if they form an appreciable portion of your energy spend.<br />It’s also recommend that an organization be committed to both completing the benchmarking process as well as actually using the results as part of its energy and environmental strategy design sessions. <br />Undergoing a benchmark can certainly be carried out with inferior data, but as the old saying goes, you can only get out what you put in, and if your data is in poor shape, your results will follow suit and your strategy will likely be based on unrepresentative analysis.<br />
  8. 8. Elements of a Benchmark<br />When undergoing an energy benchmark initiative the main elements include:<br /><ul><li>An energy and emissions baseline study;
  9. 9. Site details on how your properties are performing;
  10. 10. Observations of your organization’s behaviours at the corporate level. There are many management best practices which can make or break the effectiveness of a energy and environment strategic plan;
  11. 11. Goals and targets as they relate to benchmarking;
  12. 12. Gaps in performance and subsequent opportunities from comparing your company’s data to the three data sets; and
  13. 13. Results from the benchmark feed into the strategic planning phase of a total program.</li></ul>The two next pages will detail each element.<br />
  14. 14. Elements of a Benchmark<br />
  15. 15. Elements of a Benchmark<br />
  16. 16. Final Words<br />Completing an energy benchmark will identify where you are as an organization, where you want to be, and establish the major deliverables and milestones that will help you get there.<br />