In terms of how we make comparisons, we use the following two sources of data: a) Industry standard average EUI (Energy Use Intensity) and best practice. The data used here is CBECS data where it is available and depending on what country the benchmarking is being undertaken. In the US it is CBECS, which underpins the Energy Star ratings. Best practice data is gleaned from audit work we have been involved in and is therefore verified data. In New Zealand, we have better data sources and information than the NZ Govt Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
This first benchmarking data source allows users to obtain an indicative performance rating without having to enter detailed information about their building, such as its construction. Simple and readily accessible data such as total square meters and annual energy consumption is enough to obtain a rating. Additional input data such as required under the Energy Star Manager Portfolio Manager will of course provide a rating in accordance with that scheme.
b) Benchmarking against benchmarks being generated by the buildings and facilities already present in the e-Bench database. For example, we have some 1,400 school buildings in the database and the quartile, average, median and best practice are generated from the performance of these school buildings. It is also dynamic, meaning that as additional buildings are added to the database or the performance of existing buildings improve so will that of the indexes. We believe having a dynamic, rather than static reference database is important to reflect the changes in technology. As technology improves there will therefore be greater scope for improvements in buildings and facilities.