Energy benchmarking for government- owned buildings involves tracking annual energy use, reporting and publicly disclosing the data using EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager Tool, and comparing building performance with other comparable buildings. The process of benchmarking allows Sullivan County Government, via the Division of Public Works, to learn about the energy use of its buildings, to see which buildings are performing well in terms of energy efficiency, and to identify buildings to be studied for potential energy retrofit work to improve energy performance. The County chose 2016 as its baseline data year, and elected to benchmark all County owned or leased buildings that are larger than 1,000 square feet and use energy to heat or cool the occupied space. The County Office of Sustainable Energy has completed the data entry of energy use for 2016 and has generated the baseline emissions performance for County facilities.
Benchmarking is an important action in Sullivan County’s ongoing commitment as a certified Climate Smart Community and a designated Clean Energy Community. The Sullivan County Legislature adopted its Benchmarking Policy for Selected County-Owned Buildings in March 2017.
The 2016 baseline process identified three County-owned buildings as qualifying for an Energy Star rating, which is based on 150 separate metrics such as each building’s size, location, the number of occupants, number of computers, and other characteristics. The Sullivan County Transportation Facility in White Lake is an Energy Star rated building and achieved a score of 99 (1 being the worst, 100 being the most efficient). The Sullivan County Courthouse and the Sullivan County Government Center are also Energy Star rated buildings, and currently score at 46 and 40 respectively. For more information on why the Energy Star score is significant, follow this link:
The “Sullivan County Benchmark” report provides a wide angle view of County-owned or leased buildings relative to electricity generation and consumption, fuel oil and propane consumption, site and source energy use and energy use intensity, direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and emissions intensity, and comparisons to the national median. Of the nineteen benchmarking entries, four consist of multiple buildings treated as campuses because they feature multiple buildings on a single meter or shared amenities such as parking lot and street lighting. These campuses are: the Human Services Complex in Liberty; the Maplewood Facility (DPW); the Sullivan County International Airport; the Barryville Maintenance facility; and the Sullivan County Landfill.
The 2016 baseline data includes 74,163 kWh of electricity generated from small-scale solar arrays at the Transportation Facility in Bethel and the Human Services Complex in Liberty and used on-site. Looking ahead, we anticipate completing the collection of 12 months of data on the County’s 2.5MW solar array at the Adult Care Center in Liberty in time to include that on-site renewable energy generation in the 2018 benchmarking report. The County will also have a full year of data relative to the HVAC and lighting retrofit at the Sullivan County Government Center. Compared to the baseline 2016 data, this new information will help us measure our progress in improving energy efficiency, deploying renewable energy resources, reducing GHG emissions, and reducing energy costs in County facilities.
GHG (as measured in MTCO2e): There are a number of greenhouse gases (GHG), including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. CO2 equivalent or CO2e, is a unit of measure that allows us to express the impact of each different GHG in terms of the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of warming. CO2e allows us to express a carbon footprint consisting of different GHGs as a single, consistent number.
EUI: Energy Use Intensity (EUI) expresses a building’s energy use as a function of its size and other characteristics. For most property types in Portfolio Manager, the EUI is expressed as energy per square foot per year. It is calculated by dividing the total energy consumed by the building in one year (measured in thousands of British thermal units or kBtu) by the total gross floor area of the building. In general, a low EUI signifies good energy performance. EUI can be calculated on site energy use or source energy use, as explained in the following glossary entries.
Site Energy Use: Site Energy Use is the annual amount of all the energy a property consumes onsite, as reported on utility bills.
Site EUI: The Site Energy total for one year, as reflected in the building’s energy bills, divided by the total square footage of the building, yields a number that represents Site Energy Use Intensity (Site EUI). Site EUI helps building managers understand how the energy use for an individual building changes over time.
Source Energy Use: Source Energy Use represents the total amount of raw fuel that is required to operate the building. It incorporates all production, transmission, delivery, storage, and transport losses for all fuel types. Source Energy Use is the basis for ENERGY STAR’s rating system, which converts the consumption of each type of energy into a single common unit (kBtu) and expresses it as a score of 1-100, so that the energy performance of diverse buildings can be compared equitably.
Source EUI: The source energy use total for one year, divided by the total square footage of the building, yields a Source Energy Use Intensity (Source EUI) that provides the most comprehensive measure of a building’s energy performance. By taking all energy use into account, the score provides a complete assessment of energy efficiency in a building.