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Energy Benchmarking: What Is It and Why You Should Care

May 3, 2016

As the adoption of new energy efficiency requirements and practices continues to increase, hotel owners and managers face a growing list of obligations and potential solutions… but little data to help them make the right decisions. Energy benchmarking bridges this gap by providing the necessary information to affect change, drive energy savings, and improve building efficiency.

Energy Benchmarking: What Is It and Why Your Should Care

Energy Benchmarking: What Is It?

Energy benchmarking is the process of documenting how much energy a building uses and where that energy goes. It typically results in a report on the building's energy expenditure and greenhouse gas emissions for a certain time period. Recording this information gives hotel managers a sense of how their building is performing over time and against peer buildings as a basis to make decisions about the building.

The goal of energy benchmarking is twofold: First to reduce building energy use (and thus save money), and second to protect our environment. To accomplish this, benchmarking identifies energy-saving opportunities to help buildings operate at peak efficiency. Not all hotel buildings, especially older buildings, were designed with energy efficiency in mind, and it's not something that many owners consider. Or if the building has been repurposed, its new energy needs may be very different from those it was built for. Benchmarking, then, is a method of education as well as improvement, and holds benefits for many different parties.

Energy Analysis for Greater Savings

Just who can benefit from energy benchmarking? The groups who stand to gain the most from incorporating energy benchmarking processes are:

Energy Benchmarking Today

Several states, counties, and cities across the United States are quickly adopting energy benchmarking requirements. Areas like Chicago, where renovation is common and building energy accounts for 70 percent of total energy consumption, have eagerly made this type of benchmarking mandatory. The reasons for the trend are clear. Energy benchmarking, as well as disclosure of related energy data, are key policies that drive change at several levels, ultimately making it easy to invest in energy efficiency, cut costs, and protect our environment.

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