performance requires good information on how, when, and where energy is
being used. Collecting and tracking this information is necessary for
establishing baselines and managing energy use.
Organizations of all sizes have established systems for gathering and
tracking energy use data. Portfolio Manager, an ENERGY STAR tool, tracks
energy use over time. All or parts of data collection and management can
also be outsourced. Regardless of what method you use to gather and
track data, consider the steps below.
The data must be complete and accurate because it will be used for
analysis and goal setting. Consider the following when collecting energy
Determine appropriate level of detail - The level
and scope of data collection will vary from organization to
organization. Some may choose to collect data from submeters on
individual processes while others may only look at a utility bill.
Account for all energy sources - Inventory all
energy purchased and generated on-site (electricity, gas, steam,
waste fuels) in physical units (kWh, mMBtu, Mcf, lbs of steam, etc.)
and on a cost basis.
Document all energy uses - For the sources
identified above, assemble energy bills, meter readings, and other
Energy data may reside in the accounting department, be held
centrally or at each facility, or can be acquired by contacting
the appropriate utilities or energy service providers.
Gather at least two years of monthly data or a more frequent
interval if available. Use the most recent data available.
Collect facility and operational data - To be able
to normalize and benchmark, it may be necessary to collect
non-energy related data for all facilities and operations, such as
building size, operating hours, etc.
Establish Tracking System
A system for tracking performance can range from a simple spreadsheet to
detailed databases and IT systems. In developing an appropriate tracking
system for your organization, consider the following:
Scope - The design of your tracking system will be
shaped, in large part, by the level and scope of information that
will be tracked and the frequency of data collection.
Maintenance - Tracking systems must be easy to use,
update, and maintain.
Reporting and communicating - Use tracking systems
to communicate energy performance to other parts of the organization
and motivate change. Consider developing formats that express energy
performance information in ways that are easily understandable
across the organization. A good tracking system should make such
minimum, collect data by fuel type at an individual building or
Collect data from submeters, if possible
actual, not estimated, use data, if possible
data that is current and timely
tracking systems to develop quarterly and annual reports that
profile energy performance
tracking systems to allow facilities to compare their performance to
an existing tracking system, such as ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager
to organize data, benchmark against the industry.