Overview: Important Invoice Analysis Features Available to Users: Portfolio analytics Cost ($) Graph Summary Chart Property Analytics View Asset and building characteristics and supply contracts Review invoices with audits After automatic or manual invoice acquisition, WatchWire provides unique functionality to…Read full post
Product Spotlight: Benchmarking Facilities
WatchWire’s platform allows you to compare building performance across your portfolio and against peers, and organize metrics based on geographic region, accounts, meters, and more.
- Peer comparisons
- Internal comparisons
Comparing facilities is quick and easy in WatchWire. Rank your building(s) against similar subsets of buildings to show whether you are a low- or high-performing building, helping you identify and prioritize cost-saving and emissions-reducing energy efficiency improvements, and assess the range of likely savings from these improvements.
WW’s sustainability module uses utility and asset characteristic data stored in our invoice management section to benchmark properties against each other to prioritize opportunities with the quickest payback and largest impact (based on KPIs such as kWh/ft2, watts/ft2, Widgets Produced, Customers Served, etc.)
Through WatchWire’s integration with the US Department of Energy’s Building Performance Database (BPD), properties can be benchmarked against the nation’s largest dataset of energy-related characteristics of commercial properties. Users can analyze property data against any defined subset of commercial properties to identify how to compare the median electricity use for this subset, and where the property ranks relative to its peers.
What is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is a term frequently mentioned when talking about energy management and sustainability reporting. Many online benchmarking tools exist, such as GRESB and ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, to name a few. These tools allow users to measure their buildings against national standards of sustainability and efficiency. Having a GRESB or ENERGY STAR-certified portfolio is extremely beneficial – it proves to clients, investors, and employees that you value the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants.
Benchmarking is the most effective way to measure the energy performance of a building over time, and for commercial and large-scale residential buildings, it is an essential part of energy management. Simply put, benchmarking involves assessing and analyzing the energy and water use of a building and then comparing it to the building’s past performance, similar buildings, or modeled simulations of a reference building at a certain standard.
How it works
WatchWire offers interval data monitoring and automated utility data integration so that you can get the latest performance data from your facilities. WatchWire then compiles the data in one place, ensures all data uses common definitions, and provides insight into how your properties are performing against each other by stack-ranking the most (and least) efficient facilities on a raw, square footage, or other KPI basis to prioritize improvement opportunities. In addition, WatchWire tracks numerous high-level buildings/asset characteristics through qualitative data that can be logged into the platform, allowing you to create Custom Groupings of similar buildings that provide further analyses among your portfolio. WatchWire also has integrations with the US Department of Energy’s Building Performance Database, ENERGY STAR, and GRESB, providing more variations to benchmarking and meeting your organization’s compliance with benchmarking laws. Our expert customer success teams and sustainability analysts are also available to help you identify proper areas to benchmark.
Benchmarking is based on two data sets: internal and external. Examples of internal data include historical energy and water consumption, which help identify issues unique to your portfolio. External data involves the consumption patterns and historical data specific to buildings with similar characteristics to those in your portfolio.
How do I compare my facilities against each other?
- Select properties to compare → metric (Energy Usage, Delivery Cost, Supply Cost, Total Cost, Demand, Emissions (CO2)) → normalize on a common denominator using KPIs (optional) → pick commodities → reporting dates (comparison date optional)
- Track the entire portfolio, all of the properties in one specific region, or just the properties you manage
How do I compare my facilities against my peers?
- Navigate to the Building Performance Database benchmarking tab → choose the building that you wish to compare → a histogram will be generated on your screen → From here you can create a more narrow comparison by selecting building specifications such as building class, facility type, square footage, and heating fuel type → apply filters.
Within the reporting module section of WatchWire, users are also able to run comprehensive facility comparison reports. You can download and save the report in various formats.
If you are a building owner or work in operations and facilities management, chances are you’re always striving to reduce costs, explain budget variances, and increase efficiency and sustainability. Comparing your buildings against one another and against peers is a crucial piece in properly managing the energy efficiency and emissions reductions of a facility or organization by making it easy to identify areas where efficiency is lacking, decide on potential improvements, and make informed decisions about long-term energy management.
Sustainability Managers and Analysts
…with ambitious environmental goals will also find benchmarking to be essential in their sustainability reporting efforts as peer comparisons are typically used to rate or rank different organizations against one another in voluntary reporting frameworks like GRESB. In addition, benchmarking to understand which of your buildings are low performers will help analysts determine which assets are the low-hanging fruit for energy efficiency measures to comply with energy codes or new building performance standards. Clients are also able to benchmark their facilities based on CO2 emissions to better understand which buildings within their portfolio are the priorities for decarbonization measures.
In some states and cities, energy benchmarking is mandatory, and buildings are required to meet certain standards. Mandatory benchmarking is becoming more common as the U.S. grapples with the threat of climate change. Even if your city does not yet require benchmarking, it is still wise to participate, since your company can reap many benefits from energy benchmarking, and prepare for potential building performance standards (a separate regulation from benchmarking ordinances) that require existing buildings to achieve minimum levels of energy or climate performance targets by certain phased-in deadlines.
While BPS and benchmarking are distinct policies, benchmarking requirements are a meaningful bedrock to an effective BPS or other efforts to improve energy performance whether voluntary or mandatory. Data collected through measuring and assessing energy performance for benchmarking often helps state and local governments to set and measure compliance with a BPS- providing all the more reason that organizations should develop their own solid internal building performance data repositories to have this data on hand- both for benchmarking and BPS.
Companies will need to comply with ambitious building performance standards and ordinances by meeting the minimum standards for emissions thresholds and lowering their carbon and energy usage. In order to comply with laws like New York Local Law 97, companies may find it useful to benchmark their facilities against one another to determine which of their assets would be the most impactful on overall portfolio performance (both carbon and energy use) after retrofitting or efficiency measures are implemented.
WatchWire is a market-leading sustainability and energy data management platform that uses cloud-based software to collect, automize, and analyze utility, energy, and sustainability data metrics. WatchWire streamlines, automates, and standardizes your sustainability reporting process by integrating directly and/or providing reporting exports to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, LEED Arc, GRESB, CDP, SASB, GRI, and more. The platform provides customizable dashboards, which allow asset managers, sustainability managers, engineers, and more to monitor individual key performance indicators (KPIs) and create custom views for specific use cases. WatchWire provides:
- Automatic collection of energy, utility, sustainability, and emissions data through real-time metering. The data is then fully audited and organized in one place
- GHG emissions tracking
- Goal tracking (e.g., Net Zero, SBTi, waste diversion)
- Carbon offset view of power purchases from the grid vs. on-site renewables generated vs. off-site RECs.
- Opportunities to implement projects (track EEMs) and monitor distributed energy resource production (e.g. on-site solar)
To discover more about WatchWire and its capabilities, you can visit our website, blog, or resource library, request a demo, or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter to keep up-to-date on the latest energy and sustainability insights, news, and resources.
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