Benchmarking your organisation’s energy use forms the foundations of an energy management strategy. You can not manage what you do not measure, which why creating reliable energy benchmarks is so important.
Creating energy consumption benchmarks for internal energy management can seem like a daunting task, however, once the balance of detail and accuracy is found you gain a bespoke tool which can turn a building portfolio, no matter the size, completely transparent. Our Simon Baker shares his five tips to creating reliable energy benchmarks as part of his current role as an Energy Data Analyst in the ETS Technical Energy Centre.
1. Understand the final purpose of the benchmarks
Whether it is taking a snapshot of the portfolios energy efficiency annually or bi-annually to view portfolio progression against Energy Performance Indicators (EnPI’s) or utilising daily load profiles to reveal sites and areas for improvement, understanding the final purpose will enable better shaping of your benchmarks.
2. Review the building information available as well as the energy data
Many of your potential variables and influencing factors may be derived from the site information. Ensure you review what is available, understand the accuracy of the information and if key variables are unavailable and need to be collected or collated.
3. Take time to investigate your energy consumption trends
This should be where you spend the majority of your time. Interrogate your figures by testing a set of variables or characteristics of your buildings against periods of energy consumption from a single day to a year. You want to identify mostly the clean and reliable trends to benchmark your sites against with a view to clearing the transition from one benchmark to the next.
4. Define the benchmarks and their categories clearly and formally
As well as providing clarity on which sites are being included within your comparison, defining the benchmarks and their categories will also make the benchmarks easier to reproduce. Whilst the sites will not be able to affect the variables impacting their energy use, they can use the information to self-assess areas of improvement.
5. Keep them familiar and fair to build trust
Keep your building information up-to-date with information on works or alterations to ensure the benchmarks do not come under scrutiny. Provide this information within your regular reporting to make them a pillar on which your energy management strategy is based upon.