Blog   |   Aug 20th, 2013 ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®: What you need to know about the new system


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…

User Interface

  • System is equipped with data entry wizards to streamline the process
  • Webpage layout uses Tabs for both the entire portfolio of properties and within the individual property webpage for speedy site navigation
  • Drop-down boxes to quickly update, edit, or report properties

Expanded List of Property Types

  • The distinction between single buildings and campuses has been removed
    • All are known as “Properties”
    • Each property can be designated as part of a building, a single building, or multiple buildings
    • All properties within an eligible property type can receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score (previous version only allowed single buildings)
    • There are now 86 individual property types to better describe your facilities
    • 20 individual property types are eligible for the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score (Same as before upgrade)

Automated Benchmarking System (ABS) has gone the way of the dinosaurs

  • Web Services will take its place
    • SPP’s with infrastructure setup to use Web Services can quickly add, update, and exchange vast amounts of property and consumption data
    • Faster, more granular data exchange
    • Modern REST services make data transactions synchronous in real time
      • Enhanced features and accessibility
      • Easier Troubleshooting

And some things have remained the same…

  • 1-100 ENERGY STAR Rating models all your existing building and energy data carried over to new system
  • All your connections with other users have been maintained

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:

  • New data entry upload templates for property use details and meter data
  • New reporting templates/graphs/features
  • New Graphical Performance Metrics Display (easily downloadable!)
  • Track individual energy projects
  • Share and collaborate with other Portfolio Manager users
  • Easy online ENERGY STAR Application process

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.

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.

Blog Author

Matthew Vadney

Matthew Vadney

Matthew Vadney is a Senior Energy Analyst and Benchmarking Lead at TRC, managing implementation of benchmarking programs and development of related advanced analytics tools for TRC clients. He has eight years of experience in the energy consulting industry and expertise in whole-building energy benchmarking, project case management, development and design of program reporting tools, greenhouse gas emissions reporting, customer support, and training. Matt has a B.A. in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany. Contact him at