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in annual energy costs, that would equate to $7,000 annual cost savings. Embracing this process can provide powerful information to help manage your utility usage to operate a more financially and environmentally respon- sible community.


Who is required to comply? Currently 24 cities, three states, and one county have some level of energy efficiency legislation for commercial buildings and the list continues to grow. Even if you are located in an area with mandated energy legislation, you should verify whether your community is required to comply. For ex- ample, some only require buildings 50,000 square feet and above to comply, so smaller communities are exempt. But stay informed because it is possible the criteria will shift from year to year as the program expands.


The reporting tool While the specific requirements vary by location, the one common thread is the use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark and report the information. Port- folio Manager is a no-cost tool developed by the EPA and is an industry standard for com- mercial real estate. Hundreds of thousands of commercial properties, including senior living communities, use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to measure, track, assess, and report on their energy and water consumptionii


. By


inputting 12 months of energy usage and some basic information about your commu- nity, such as gross square footage, number of units, average number of residents, etc., Port- folio Manager is able to calculate the energy efficiency of your community compared to a database of peer communities and assign a score from 1-100. The lower the score, the less efficient the community. Fifty is average and scoring 75 or above is the target zone that identifies the upper 25th percentile of efficient communities compared to peers. A communi- ty in this target zone can qualify for ENERGY STAR certification. In addition to the score, ENERGY STAR


Portfolio Manager will automatically calcu- late any other required efficiency information for reporting, such as Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and general consumption totals for energy, water, and waste (if entered).


Three steps to compliance: 1. Verify whether your community is re- quired to comply by going to buildingrat- ing.org and follow the links to your spe- cific jurisdiction for the details. Many of the cities with compliance programs have dedicated websites that are informative and may include a building list you can cross-reference in addition to instructions on how to submit your report. If you operate but do not own the community, communication with the owner is recom- mended to not duplicate efforts.


2. Look for the date the compliance report is due, so you can start well in advance. Most are due in May and June to allow utility data for the previous year to be finalized, but specific dates can vary. Non-compliance may lead to a fine.


3. Gather your most recent 12 months of utility bills and basic space use data and enter the info into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to generate a score and required reports.


Utilization of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager provides value by: • Informing on how efficient the commu- nity is performing;


• Facilitating more informed decision mak- ing and prioritization of resources;


• Tracking reduced utility expenses that generate cost savings and improving NOI;


• Motivating results through tracking prog- ress of scores;


• Inspiring staff and resident engagement opportunities around finding and imple- menting savings opportunities and cele- brating success; and


• Providing prestigious recognition through ENERGY STAR certification of commu- nities, which generates marketing oppor- tunities and can be a competitive advan- tage for attracting residents and staff.


If you find your community is required to comply with energy legislation, don’t fret. Embracing the process can deliver positive results for your community. And if you are not currently required to comply, moving


According to the EPA, buildings that were benchmarked consistently for three years reduced energy use by an average of 2.4 percent per year for a total of 7 percent. If the average senior living community pays $100,000 in annual energy costs, that would equate to $7,000 annual cost savings.


Among the many tools and resources


ENERGY STAR provides is a Benchmark- ing Starter Kit for Portfolio Manageriii


that


will provide all the information and training needed to get started. ENERGY STAR also provides a directory of service and product providersiv


should you need assistance with


the benchmarking process and/or finding ways to make your community more energy efficient and improve your score.


The advantages All communities, whether required or not, can benefit from the utility benchmarking process and use it to drive quality and excellence across community operations.


forward with benchmarking in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager will deliver results for your community and give you a signif- icant advantage when your location enacts their own legislation.


i


ENERGY STAR: Learn About Benchmarking. energystar.gov/buildings/about-us/how-can-we-help-


you/benchmark-energy-use/benchmarking ii


buildings/about-us/facts-and-stats iii


ENERGY STAR Facts and Stats. energystar.gov/ ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Benchmarking


Starter Kit. energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners- and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-


manager/get-started-benchmarking iv


ENERGY STAR Service and Product Providers Directory .energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners- and-managers/existing-buildings/save-energy/ expert-help/find-energy-star-service-a-2


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 ARGENTUM.ORG 57


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