How will EPA’s new scoring model for offices impact your ENERGY STAR score?

by Brianna Crandall — August 5, 2019 — In August 2018, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated performance metrics for US buildings in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager based on the most recent market data available, to keep metrics as current as possible. If you benchmark one or more properties in Portfolio Manager, your buildings’ 1–100 ENERGY STAR scores and other source energy metrics were updated across all time periods to reflect the latest performance metrics. [EPA notes that none of these changes impacted Canadian buildings.]

EPA has now concluded several months of score review and consultation with numerous stakeholders concerning the August 2018 scoring models for US K-12 schools, worship facilities, warehouse properties, hotels, offices, retail stores and supermarkets to ensure they deliver metrics that support owners’ and operators’ energy efficiency goals.

As of EPA’s latest update July 31, 2019, ENERGY STAR certification is now open for all eligible US building types, and updated scores are available.

Office properties scoring model

After several months of review and consultation with numerous stakeholders, EPA determined that an adjustment to the current office model, released in August 2018, is needed to better account for heating energy use. Therefore, EPA is reintroducing a heating degree day (HDD) adjustment into the scoring process, which results in more equitable scores for office properties in all climates.

Some office buildings in colder climates will see score increases with the final model, but no buildings will see decreases.

Scoring models for all other properties covered

EPA’s extensive analyses during the review period confirmed that the models for the other types of properties are capturing the efficiency improvements of the last decade, as well as important changes in how energy is used in buildings. Based on these results, EPA concluded that the retail, supermarket, K-12 school, hotel, warehouse and worship facility models are working as intended to deliver energy performance metrics that help owners and operators meet efficiency goals, and no adjustments were made to the models released in August 2018.

Full details about EPA’s analysis and key findings for each of the models are available for download:

EPA reinstated certification for all properties covered under the models, as of July 31, 2019.

The ENERGY STAR Updates webpage offers details about the option to earn both a 2018 and 2019 certification this year, based on the period end date, and information about state and local reporting deadlines. EPA is also offering a recorded webinar: “Overview of Changes to 2018 and 2019 Certification Application Rules.”