US facilities management software company FM:Systems has announced that its FM:Interact solution now integrates with the EPA’s Energy Star energy performance rating system.
The direct integration means that organisations can get an Energy Star rating for a building, benchmark its performance and calculate carbon footprint.
The FM:Interact Sustainability Module helps users manage information on energy performance, building certifications and sustainability projects like energy retrofits from a standard web browser.
The Energy Star performance rating system is a benchmark for assessing how efficiently buildings use energy, relative to similar buildings. The rating system has a 1–100 scale of performance — a rating of 50 indicates average energy performance, while a rating of 75 or better indicates top performance.
So the new FM:Interact capability enables the software to send building energy usage information direct to the EPA’s Portfolio Manager software, which calculates the building’s Energy Star rating and carbon footprint and returns that data to FM:Interact.
It means that facility managers and real estate professionals can quickly benchmark their buildings against similar facilities, see which ones in their portfolio rank well and which need improvement, and recognise good performing buildings with the Energy Star label.
Bill Von Neida, senior program manager with Energy Star pointed out that “With almost 5 million commercial buildings that annually consume $107.9 billion for energy and contribute 17 percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions, just a small percentage reduction in consumption could produce dramatic results”.
This sort of benchmarking approach seems to be the best way to do it. It shows just what can and has been achieved elsewhere and introduces an element of competition to do even better. Unfortunately not every country has an EPA/Energy Star rating process.