EPA ENERGY STAR Scores Expected to Fall After Aug. 27 Metric Changes

In the latest edition of Nareit’s REIT Report podcast, Leslie Cook, ENERGY STAR program manager at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), discusses upcoming revisions to ENERGY STAR score calculations and steps that REITs can take to prepare for the changes.

ENERGY STAR’s online tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, is used to measure and track the energy performance of commercial buildings across the nation. For eligible buildings, the tool calculates a one to 100 ENERGY STAR score for rating a facility’s energy performance.

Cook notes that the calculations for current ENERGY STAR performance metrics are based on 2003 data. Models are now being updated to reflect the 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) from the Department of Energy. The updates will be released on August 27.

“Buildings across the U.S. are getting more efficient, but that [also means] that typically (ENERGY STAR) scores will go down,” given that benchmarking averages are now higher, Cook explained. Scores in certain sectors, however, are expected to rise.