In today’s blog, we are going to run through the entire process of obtaining an ENERGY STAR building certification for your commercial building.
Studies have shown that ENERGY STAR certified buildings:
- Have lower operating costs
- Are more marketable
- Contribute fewer greenhouse gas emissions to the environment
- Command higher rental rates
- Have increased asset value
So there is real value in investing time and effort in the certification process. Here’s how you do it.
The first step is to determine if your building is even eligible. The EPA’s ENERGY STAR program provides energy use data for more than 80 property types that are built into their “Portfolio Manager” energy database. However, less than two dozen types are currently supported with the ENERGY STAR 1-100 building rating system. You can find out if your building type is included here.
Submit Building Energy Data
Once you’ve determined eligibility, the next step is to input your building energy data into Portfolio Manager. This can be done through the program’s online interface, or by working through an ENERGY STAR partner organization that provides automated data submittal. EnergyCAP is the national leader for ENERGY STAR certifications achieved through automated building benchmarks. If you’re not an EnergyCAP client, you can set up your own Portfolio Manager account and enter building information and energy data through a manual process.
Obtain a Rating
Once your data has been submitted, ENERGY STAR will provide a 1-100 rating for eligible building types. If your building is at or above 75, your building becomes eligible to obtain certification. If the rating is below 75, the ENERGY STAR website provides information on how to pursue energy management initiatives to raise your rating.
Apply for certification
Getting your 75+ ENERGY STAR building rating is probably the hardest part of the process, but once you have achieved it, there is a necessary verification step to secure your ENERGY STAR certification.
An authorized representative of the building (typically the building owner, manager, or building engineer) must apply for your ENERGY STAR. Certification is a streamlined and easy process in Portfolio Manager. Just log in to the tool (EnergyCAP clients receive login information when they first set up their buildings for automated data submittal) and follow the step-by-step instructions for your building that has a score of 75 or higher.
Obtain the Help of an LP
As part of the application process, you will obtain an ENERGY STAR Data Verification Checklist for your building. A qualified Licensed Professional (LP) can complete, sign and seal the Checklist, validating that all of the submitted information is correct and that the indoor environmental quality of the building meets industry standards.
If you need help finding a licensed professional, ENERGY STAR can help.
If your licensed professional needs guidance, a document is available.
As part of the application, your LP will conduct a site visit, and review of the submitted building energy data. Then the LP will sign the completed Data Verification Checklist and return it to your building representative, who will also sign the checklist and submit it to ENERGY STAR.
Mount Your Plaque
Once your application has been processed by ENERGY STAR, you will receive a copy of the certificate, and two adhesive decals that can be displayed on your property. You can also order a handsome wall plaque to promote your achievement!