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Benchmarking Savings Add Up Quickly, Says EPA

By Erin Weaver

This article originally appeared on BuildingGreen.com.

December 11, 2012

Energy benchmarking could save the average school district the equivalent of 1.2 teachers’ salaries for at least three years, according to a new analysis from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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Data from 35,000 buildings in which EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager was used to benchmark energy performance from 2008 to 2011 show average savings of 2.4 percent per year, for total average savings of 7 percent over three years. According to a survey in Building Operating Management, 70 percent of facility managers who use Portfolio Manager report using it to inform energy-efficiency upgrade plans.

The majority of buildings of all types in the analysis achieved savings, with the greatest improvements in retail, office, and K–12 school buildings; in general, buildings with the lowest initial performance achieved double the savings of more efficient buildings. According to EPA, similar average reductions in all U.S. buildings’ energy use would avoid the release of 18 million tons of CO2 equivalent every year—saving approximately $4.2 billion in the first year alone.

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