A national level interactive online program, Certificate of Proficiency in Benchmarking has been launched to train building energy and water benchmarking professionals, on how to use the U.S EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool to benchmark building performance.
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, designed by EPA is an online tool to measure, track energy and water consumption as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Center for Building Knowledge at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), in collaboration with the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI), has introduced the program.
The program also teaches how to collect building energy and water benchmarking data.
The participants who complete the training and exam can be issued a certificate for a fee.
The Certificate of Proficiency in Benchmarking can be a deciding factor for making energy data more transparent, accessible, and reliable.
In addition, this program can be considered as a national standard for standardizing professionals for ensuring the quality of self-reported benchmarking data.
Developing a national standard is necessary to raise data quality which can be achieved by properly training the people who benchmark and also by creating accountability for the results.
The accountability afforded by the Certificate program can raise the bar for data quality assurance. The accuracy of information is important as energy information spreads into the public as the next wave of “big data.”
Generally, the initial step involved in the identification of inefficiency is to benchmark a building to rate its performance and then compare it with other similar buildings using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.
The obtained performance data for many building types can be calculated in a 1-100 score and inform the owners about the building’s performance related to others.
If a jurisdiction opts for Certificate of Proficiency in Benchmarking, it has to be referenced in an ordinance and required for compliance with energy benchmarking and transparency laws.
In coming years, the benchmarking and transparency may have the potential to transform the building operations sector.