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Did you know energy expenditures average more than $2 per square foot in commercial and government buildings? With costs like these, energy is a cost worth managing. By making energy performance measurable and visible, building owners can improve the efficiency of their buildings. But how does one make energy performance measurable and visible?

Benchmarking is the process of accounting for and comparing a metered building’s current energy performance with its energy baselines, or comparing a metered building’s energy performance of similar types of buildings. Benchmarking can be used to compare performance over time, within and between peer groups, or to document top savings from conservation measures. Building owners seek benchmarking data to differentiate a building or company, help value rental rates, and inform the sale or acquisition of existing buildings.

Energy efficient buildings are more profitable and more valuable at resale, so don’t hesitate to implement your benchmarking plan—especially when it could soon become law. As of July of 2013, major cities such as Philadelphia, Austin, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Minneapolis, and Boston have passed laws requiring buildings to benchmark their energy use, encouraging city-wide sustainability and energy efficiency. Benchmarking laws are an obvious trend, and will likely be implemented in other cities. Be an energy efficiency pioneer in your area and begin developing your benchmarking plan now.

To learn more about benchmarking and developing a plan, read GreenPath’s white paper, “Designing a Benchmarking Plan.”

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