ENERGY STAR is Getting a Major Facelift This Summer – Get Ready for Score Changes!

Written by: Jenn Allen

The popular government-led energy program designed in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ENERGY STAR is revamping the scale it uses to measure the energy efficiency of buildings. As it currently stands, the Portfolio Manager program compares energy use of a facility to similar buildings nation-wide – but the data is severely outdated. As of August 26, 2018, the new scale will be in full effect.

The 1–100 ENERGY STAR score for facilities is based on the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), which is completed about once every five years by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). The latest CBECS data was released in 2016 and was based on the results of the 2012 survey. However, the EIA was unable to publish the 2007 CBECS, so most of the scores still rely on data from prior the CBECS survey in 2002.

This means there will be a bit of a transition in the industry as expectations for ENERGY STAR scores shift. Because the efficiency of buildings has gone up generally (which is great), the ENERGY STAR scores will generally be lower for most building types. This means that facilities will have to work harder to be considered “efficient” and reach that certifying score of 75. Earlier this month, EPA team members shared the following score update estimates across building types, effective this fall:

  • Offices -12

  • Schools -13

  • Warehouses -7

  • Grocery/Supermarkets -1

  • Hotels +1

  • Worship Facilities -9

  • Retail/Wholesale Clubs -16

  • Bank Branches -10

This change is another example of how ENERGY STAR continues to raise the bar and provides transparency for perpetual improvement in the building performance arena.

We at Waypoint are looking forward to helping our CRE partners navigate this change to make room for the next cohort of exceptional energy leaders. Feel free to reach out to us at with questions or comments, or if you want to get your buildings re-certified before the scores change.

For a complete list of which building ratings are changing and how it might impact your score, visit the ENERGY STAR website.

©Waypoint Energy 2020

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