Benchmarking benefits - Local Law 84

April 27, 2015 - Green Buildings

George Crawford, Green Partners

Benchmarking scores range from 1 to 100 with 100 being the best. Nationwide a Benchmarking score of 50 represents the median. Locally the median score is 60. If your Benchmarking score is in the 60 range, then your building is an average New York City energy user. Lower scores, however, should raise concerns and very low scores should raise big concerns.
If your building has a very low Benchmarking score, you would be advised to take aggressive action because low scores equal lost profits. Your first step is to determine the cause. Your options range from engaging a qualified engineer to perform a targeted energy assessment focusing on heating and electrical consumption to a full ASHRAE Level II Audit - similar to Local Law 87 compliance requirements.
For buildings with mid-range Benchmarking scores, a more measured approach would be recommended. Consider implementing energy saving measures annually as part of your capital budget process. From an economic perspective, identify steps that tie in with available incentives. Qualifying for incentives from NYSERDA or Con Ed not only lowers the financial threshold for initiating energy savings retro-fits, NYSERDA or Con Ed project involvement also brings discipline to the retro-fit process which supports successful results.
With currently available Con Ed rebates and proven energy savings from LED products, consider starting your energy reduction program now with a building wide LED retro-fit. Your payback should fall into the one or two year category. Forget the assumption that you need to compromise on the quality and look of your lighting when using LED products. With today's cutting edge LED availability, LED lamps are better in look and quality than most traditional lighting products. You will, however, need to work with a Con Ed Marketing Partner who has proven expertise in both structuring Con Ed incentives as well as sourcing LED products directly from the manufacturer.
To learn more about combining available Con Ed rebates with a LED retro-fit, go to greenpartnersny.com
George Crawford is the principal of Green Partners, New York, N.Y.

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