Measuring Building Efficiency to Track Building Performance

Measuring the Energy Use of Buildings

Everyone agrees that energy conservation and environmental responsibility is a no-brainer. Where things get complicated for building owners and managers is how to develop goals or benchmarks to determine and track the energy improvement of their facilities. It is estimated that the lighting, heating and cooling of buildings represent up to 60 per cent of Canada's annual greenhouse gas emissions.


Having access to current, accurate energy use information that covers energy and water consumption is incredibly valuable when you, a building owner, manager, operator, needs to understand or analyze the costs associated with your building or entire portfolio.


Apart from green responsibility, the obvious incentive for building owners is that greening their properties will give them a competitive cost advantage. But there are other benefits that come with measuring energy use and they include:

  • Managing operating costs
  • Improving tenant satisfaction
  • Reducing carbon footprints
  • Reduced energy and water usage
  • Meet corporate social responsibility goals

Knowledge Empowers Management

"You can't manage what you don't measureā€. There are many tools and services available for measuring energy and water consumption. Ongoing  performance measurement and reporting of energy and water use is an integral part of LEED® Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. Since its launch in 2010, LEED EB:O&M has been rapidly adopted and is successfully transforming the commercial office sector with a total of 349 registered and certified buildings across Canada, representing over 18 million square metres.


In July 2013, Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) released a Canadian version of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool. Portfolio Manager is a free, interactive energy management tool that allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment.


Portfolio Manager has the ability to generate weather normalized and non-weather normalized energy use intensity values, greenhouse gas emission metrics, as well as a percentile energy performance score for eligible building types. As of this date, K-12 schools and commercial office buildings in Canada will receive Canadian specific 1-100 ENERGY STAR energy performance scores.


  • Establishes a baseline energy performance and energy performance goals
  • Track multiple buildings in one portfolio
  • Easy user interface for data entry
  • Helps prioritize future investments
  • Automated information sharing about your facilities with a property manager or service provider
  • Canadian version now features:
  • Provincial GHG emission factors
  • Local climate data available by postal code
  • Canadian source-site energy factors
  • Metric units
  • Bilingual interface
  • Performance scale is based on a newer (2009) reference building dataset

If you are interested in learning more about the green building industry in Canada and want to connect with the leading member based association in the country, contact the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).

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