Energy benchmarking is the act of collecting and analyzing building energy performance data in comparison with other comparable buildings. Each month, energy (utility) data is collected and the building is compared to see if it is performing better or worse than itself (in previous years), other buildings within the portfolio, and other buildings nationwide. Comparable buildings are based on climate zone, building size, heating and cooling systems, and many other factors. POAH uses benchmarking technologies to identify and address poorly performing buildings and utility anomalies.
In acquisition, utility data from the previous owner should be examined to understand the building's as-is energy performance. Utility data should be shared with POAH's Design + Building Performance Department.
In rehab or construction, metering capability should be incorporated into the design. Mechanical and electrical engineers should provide metering approach. Final metering design to be approved by POAH Design + Building Performance.
For property managers and maintenance staff, monthly review of utility data will help inform property staff of any anomalies. Utility anomalies many be triggered by many things. A very common utility anomaly is a running toilet using excess amounts of water. Any anomalies spotted should be reviewed with POAH's Energy Management Associate.
Depending on the HVAC type and configuration, billing setup, and information needs of each property, POAH collects data at different levels of detail.
The first tier of POAH’s energy usage data is its property level metrics. 100% of owner paid utility bills across the portfolio are aggregated centrally into a searchable online system by Ecova. This raw usage data is fed into Bright Power's Energy Score Cards.
Bright Power's Energy Scorecards process the raw data from Ecova, allowing for energy performance to be compared from year to year and building to building. POAH uses the data to identify utility usage anomalies, target upgrades towards the buildings that most need them, create measurement and verification reports for completed upgrades, and make projections about future utility use.
A second tier is POAH’s analysis of individually metered tenant-paid accounts. For certain properties with individual utility accounts being targeted for upgrades, POAH uses WegoWise to automatically pull data across multiple tenant accounts. This allows POAH to examine building efficiency and upgrade performance even without receiving the bills itself.
The final tier or energy data is the circuit and systems level data POAH collects through a variety of platforms. Examples include solar panel production, information about cogeneration systems’ heat and electricity production, boiler monitoring, and circuit level electric usage. These data are generally collected for POAH’s more sophisticated equipment, or for equipment being targeted for improved performance. The data are used for preventative and targeted maintenance, to adjust control settings, to inform upgrades, and to pinpoint equipment malfunctions.