Over the next several bog posts I want to discuss ENERGY STAR and what it means to you, the building manager or owner. But to begin talking about ENERGY STAR, I’d like to talk briefly about the scoring system, its inputs, and the potentially fickle nature of the beast.

Now, anyone can go to energystar.gov and create an account in Portfolio Manager, the system where you input your building’s data.

In order to achieve certification, a professional licensed individual has to verify the ENERGY STAR points, to ensure there is actual oversight. But it’s also a useful exercise for you, the building manager, to input your data into Portfolio Manager, get a score, and gage where you are.

However, we should also note that the ENERGY STAR scoring system can be fickle. Trying to understand exactly what they’re asking for can be challenging. One really needs to pay attention to the definitions of each of the inputs to know exactly what the system is asking for.

For example, in a commercial office building when they’re talking square footage, they’re looking for gross square footage, exterior wall to exterior wall. They’re not looking for rentable square footage. When we’re talking about number of personal computers, were not talking about server rooms or server closets, were talking about desktop PCs. It’s critical to understand these definitions from Portfolio Manager’s point of view.

Those types of nuances with inputs can be confusing when you’re going into Portfolio Manager the first time. To generate an ENERGY STAR score and have it be as accurate as you can it get it, having clarity on exactly what those inputs are is crucial.