On July 17, 2013 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched its updated ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® system, creating a buzz within the energy benchmarking community. The initial public interest in the new tool far exceeded expectation.
This free online energy and water consumption benchmarking and tracking tool has been publicly available since the early 2000s. And its contribution to the ENERGY STAR brand can be seen on certified energy efficient buildings across the nation. Its recent upgrade and facelift has modernized the system and positioned it well for future growth.
So what as a building owner/manager do you need to know about the upgraded system and its capabilities?
Some things have changed…
Expanded List of Property Types
Automated Benchmarking System (ABS) has gone the way of the dinosaurs
And some things have remained the same…
The major user interface changes are certainly substantial, especially to frequent users of the previous version of Portfolio Manager.
But the EPA did an excellent job of carrying over all of the functionality contained in the previous version while expanding the system’s capabilities and enhancing the new user’s experience within the tool.
Frequent users of Portfolio Manager must familiarize themselves with all of the Tabs within the tool.
The “MyPortfolio” Page is no longer the place for finding “everything” in relation to your portfolio of buildings.
EPA has made the “MyPortfolio” Tab a navigation page to select actions to edit/update groups of properties and show broad trends within your entire portfolio.
The other Tabs, namely: Planning, Reporting, and Recognition are where you can set goals for your buildings, view and export reports showing various energy consumption/cost metrics, and apply for the ENERGY STAR designation.
Important usability items that will optimize your experience include:
These new features speed up the process of benchmarking and reporting back to boards of trustees, organizational committees, project managers, etc.
To help identify any potential problems with the new system and make adjustments for better performance, the EPA has established a way for you to share your user experiences and feedback. www.energystar.gov/buildingshelp.
What do you think about the new ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager system? Please leave your feedback, best practices and questions in the comments section below.