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Blog – See how your energy cost and use stacks up against peers

March 15, 2017

By Josh Wentz

Today we announced that Building Insights and the Department of Energy (DOE) national lab have teamed up to provide a free energy benchmarking tool for energy managers, building operators and sustainability managers. Using the tool, called Benchmark My Building, users can benchmark not only their energy use, but also their costs, against similar buildings in similar climates.

Benchmarking building energy costs against the extensive datasets of Energy Star and the DOE has been arduous in the past. It is now easier than ever to see how buildings compare against peers in terms of dollars, and to make the business case for performance improvement projects.

To get started, users simply enter three inputs (building type, building size, and building location) to benchmark their buildings against Energy Star and DOE datasets representative of 68 billion square feet of commercial building space in seconds. This broad understanding of energy performance begins to reveal how organizations can think about energy and improve their overall performance.

The real magic happens when a user adds two more inputs (annual energy cost and annual kBTU usage) to gain access to a customized energy cost and consumption report that compares specific buildings with peer buildings that are performing at the median, 75th, and 90th percentiles. With this information, a building operator, facilities manager or sustainability professional can truly start to dig in to strategies that achieve greater savings and maximum conservation. Using to regularly check a building’s performance provides a measurable benchmark of progress.

BenchmarkMyBuilding converts scores to the metric that everyone cares about most: Cost. BenchmarkMyBuilding reveals the annual building energy cost at the top of every report. This dollar amount represents the median annual energy cost for buildings of the same exact type, size, and location. Performance will fall into one of the following categories:

  • 50 is the national median
  • 75 is the target for most buildings [as defined by EnergyStar Target Finder: about / tool ]
  • 90 is a great aspirational goal for buildings
  • 90-100 represents top performers

So, why do you care? Because the first step to savings and conservation is understanding what is possible. With this important energy benchmark, building managers finally have a standard scale to be used for calculating the potential value of improved performance and measuring progress. And, working with Building Insights, we can dive deep into energy use and waste, and ensure that building scores continue to improve. I’d encourage all building owners to use the free offering, and then to bring your score to Building Insights. We’ll show you how to use real-time data to minimize waste and maximize savings.

Credits. This project was made possible by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Voucher program, which pairs U.S. Department of Energy National Labs with small businesses. Starting in March 2016, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Building Insights began collaboration in Oakland, CA. Twelve months later, on March 15, 2017 presented in Washington D.C., was born. Collaborators from LBNL include Tianzhen Hong (Lead Research Scientist), Yixing Chen (Associate Engineering Developer), Jessica Granderson (Deputy of Research), Paul Mathew (Principal Investigator of DOE Buildings Performance Database). Collaborators from Building Insights include Josh Wentz (Product Architect), Nathan Gould (Data Scientist), Gavin Platt (Product Designer), Ralf VonSosen (Marketing Launch), Rob Skidmore (Web Software Engineer), Irwin Simpleo (Product Designer), Paul McNett (API Software Engineer).

Learn more with BenchmarkMyBuilding's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the Launch Webinar Video & Slides.

Check out the tool at!

Josh Wentz

Josh is Director of Product & Engineering of BuildingOS at Lucid. He architects new apps, integrations, and platform features from idea conception through design, engineering, and launch. Prior to Lucid, he led the code development, user interface design, and software integration of a web-based building simulation tool by the U.S. DOE Energy Efficient Buildings Hub. He has also worked at PositivEnergy Practice of AS+GG Architects, General Electric (GE) Energy, and ANSYS. He holds a B.S. in Internet Science and B.A.E. in Architectural Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. @joshwentz