Skip Navigation

Building Energy Benchmarking Law

Benchmarking: General Information

 


Bulletin Board: News and Upcoming Events


Group 1 Covered Buildings Reporting Link for Calendar Year 2015 Data

If you have your calendar year 2015 space and energy data entered in Portfolio Manager and verified by a recognized data verifier, then you're ready to submit your Group 1 building benchmarking data to DEP! The submission deadline for County facilities and Group 1 Buildings (250,000 sf and greater) is Wednesday, June 1st, 2016.

Please also use the link below to report any revisions to your utility data for calendar year 2015 or other required updates per the Benchmarking Law:

**Calendar Year 2015 Reporting Link for Group 1 Buildings and County Facilities**


This link will take you to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account log-in screen—after logging in, you’ll see step-by-step instructions on the Data Request page. 

 

Upcoming Benchmarking Office Hours

Third Tuesdays from 2-4 pm: September 20th - October 18th - November 15th - December 20th

Join DEP on the third Tuesday of each month at our offices at 255 Rockville Pike right off of the Rockville Metro to answer all of your benchmarking questions! Please RSVP to energy@montgomerycountymd.gov.

 

Montgomery County Joins the U.S. DOE's Standard Energy Efficiency Data Platform - POSTED February 5th, 2016

Montgomery County announced its partnership with DOE on the SEED Collaborative, which will assist DOE with their efforts to collect and manage building energy data. By participating in the SEED Collaborative, DEP will be able to streamline the complex and difficult process of managing and standardizing building energy data collected via the Benchmarking Law. Read the announcement here. 

 

Sign-up for Energy Email Updates
 

Subscribe to Benchmarking News


Join the Montgomery County Energy Benchmarking Forum!  Use this Google Group community to ask questions about the Benchmarking Law, share lessons learned, and access resources. 

Sign-up for the Benchmarking News, a newsletter specifically about benchmarking, including trainings, events, and resources.

Subscribe to the Montgomery County Energy News (see example), a monthly email newsletter with updates on energy happenings and stories in the County. 

The Green Bank and Energy Finance News is a newsletter with up-to-date into on the County's Green Bank and Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing program. Get this newsletter 1-2 times a month by subscribing here

 
An image of a lightbulb with a green city inside.
Photo credit: Shutterstock / art4all

About Benchmarking and the Law


About Benchmarking

  • What is Energy Benchmarking?  Energy Benchmarking means tracking a building's annual energy use and using a standard metric to compare the building's performance against past performance and to its peers nationwide.  

  • What are the Benefits?  Benchmarking improves our understanding of energy consumption patterns; quantifies energy performance to compare against past performance and other similar buildings; helps identify energy saving opportunities within a portfolio of buildings; and manages business bottom line through consistent data collection and tracking.  Read more about the Benefits of Benchmarking.
     

Summary of the Benchmarking Law

In May 2014, the Montgomery County adopted Bill 2-14, Environmental Sustainability – Buildings – Benchmarking (PDF, 580 KB) and amended the original legislation by Bill 35-15 Environmental Sustainability – Benchmarking – Amendments in November 2015, which requires the County and building owners to:

  • Benchmark the energy use of their nonresidential buildings 50,000 square feet and greater in the county in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager,
  • Have those data verified by a Recognized Data Verifier the first year and every three years thereafter, and
  • Report data to the County annually for public disclosure.

The County has led by example by benchmarking its buildings first by June 2015. The first deadline for private buildings is June 2016. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for the implementation of this law.

Word collage of benchmarking and energy terms‚Äč

Official Guidance Document

All of the information on this website has been compiled into a downloadable document developed to guide you through the details of the benchmarking process. This guide provides background information and step-by-step instructions to help Montgomery County building owners comply with the Building Energy Benchmarking Law. Updates to this document will be communicated through the Montgomery County Benchmarking News and will be posted here.


Required Buildings and Deadlines

What is a Covered Building? A building covered under the Benchmarking Law is “any nonresidential building, or any group of buildings that have the same property identification number” that meet the square footage thresholds for the respective groups

Special Cases:

  • Multiple Buildings that Share a PIN/Tax ID: If you have a complex of buildings that share a property identification number (your Parcel ID or Tax ID), and their square footage adds up to the thresholds listed above, they are considered covered under this law (e.g., office campus with two buildings that are 30,000 square feet each and share a Tax ID).

  • A Building on Multiple Parcels: If you have a building that meets the thresholds, regardless of how many parcels or tax IDs or owners, the building is also considered covered under this law (e.g., shopping mall).
     

Building Groups and Deadlines: There are three groups required to benchmark annually under the Benchmarking Law in Montgomery County.  

Building Groups and Deadlines

Group

Total Building(s)* Square Footage

First Data Year

First Deadline

County

50k sq. ft. +

2014

June 1, 2015

Group 1

250k sq. ft. +

2015

June 1, 2016

Group 2

50k sq. ft. up to 250k sq. ft.

2016

June 1, 2017

*The Montgomery County law defines a covered building as a nonresidential building, or any group of nonresidential buildings that have the same property identification number, that meet the given thresholds and criteria. 

 

Covered Building List - Updated January 2016

DEP developed a preliminary Covered Buildings List to raise awareness about the Benchmarking Law. This list was created with current Maryland tax assessment records and the CoStar commercial building database. Discrepancies cannot be resolved by the County. Building owners should correct any inaccuracies with the state tax assessment office or CoStar directly. 

Private Covered Buildings Inventory (provided by DEP) (MS Excel, 93 KB)

Important Information about the Covered Buildings Inventory (PDF, 354 KB)

Note: This inventory is an approximation, meant to raise awareness about the law and help identify the buildings covered by the law. Each building owner will need to confirm their own building square footage to determine coverage under the law.

Compliance is dependent upon the building owner’s record of their building square footage and the square footage on the parcel in total, regardless of the information on this inventory. This inventory will be used only as a tool by DEP, and should be considered the same by building owners and other stakeholders.

Need help figuring out your tax parcel? Use the online GIS map created from current Maryland tax assessment records to locate the parcel that your building sits on, and see what other buildings share your parcel. Reminder: if your building shares a parcel with other buildings and collectively add up to 50,000 square feet and greater, you'll need to report benchmarking data to DEP.
 


Montgomery County Building ID (MBID)

To be sure your building is counted as compliant by DEP, you will need to provide an additional ID number special to Montgomery County. Your building’s Montgomery County Building ID is your 8-digit Parcel Identification Number/Tax ID. The Parcel ID number is located in the upper right corner of your property tax bill. It would be the same as your account number. You can also locate this number online by visiting the Department of Finance’s Real Property Tax Account Information website.

Enter this MBID number in Portfolio Manager (Under the Details tab, select “Montgomery County (MD) Building ID” from the “Standard IDs” drop-down menu, and enter your MBID.

Special cases:

  • If you have multiple buildings on your parcel, you’ll create your MBID by using the 8-digit Parcel Identification Number/Tax ID number and adding an underscore and lower case letters starting with “a”  (e.g., 01234567­_a, 01234567_b).
     
  • If you have a building on multiple parcels, you can list each 8-digit Parcel Identification Number/Tax ID number as your MBIDs, separating each with a comma.
     

Exemptions and Waivers

Downtown Silver Spring by Matthew Straubmuller via Flickr

Buildings exempt from the law include any County building, Group 1 covered building or Group 2 covered building with more than 10% of total gross square footage which is used for:

  • Public assembly in a building without walls,
  • Warehousing,
  • Self storage, or
  • A use classified as manufacturing and industrial or transportation communication, and utilities.

Waivers can be applied for in the cases where the building:

  • Is in financial distress, defined as the building is subject of a tax lien sale or public auction due to property tax arrearages; is controlled by a court appointed receiver; or was recently acquired by a deed in lieu of foreclosure;
  • Had average physical occupancy of less than 50% throughout the calendar year for which benchmarking is required; or
  • Is new construction and received its certificate of use and occupancy during the calendar year for which benchmarking is required.

If your commercial buildings would like to request an exemption or waiver, building owners must submit a Building Exemption/Waiver Application (PDF, 78 KB) to DEP no later than May 1 of each deadline year. For example, Group 2 buildings must apply for an exemption/waiver no later than May 1, 2017. 

Note: Use one form per building. Submit any relevant supporting documentation along with this application to justify the exemption/waiver. Exemptions and waivers must be reviewed and approved by DEP. 
 


What is Reported and Disclosed?

DEP will be requesting information to fulfill the Benchmarking Law’s reporting requirements and provide helpful information to guide benchmarking and energy efficiency program and policy planning. As such, DEP will be collecting a broader set of data than will eventually be disclosed. Except for metrics listed below under "What is disclosed?", DEP will not disclose the otherwise collected data. The collected data will be used to provide aggregate metrics and portfolio-wide benchmarks for reporting purposes.

The Benchmarking Law requires the County to make reported benchmarking information readily available to the public. The first year's data of each reporting group will not be disclosed. Disclosure will begin the 2nd year of each building group's reporting. Example: Disclosure will begin with data reported in 2017, the second year of reporting, for Group 1. Further details will be release closer to the first disclosure.

Read more about DEP Fact Sheet: Metrics Reported and Disclosed (PDF, 26 KB).

 

How to Comply with the Benchmarking Law


Collect Building and Energy Data


Gather your Building Information

What building information do you need to collect? Use the Montgomery County version of the Portfolio Manager Data Collection Worksheet to pre-assemble your information.

 

Have tenants? Building owners must request any space data needed in writing to the tenant no later than March 31 of each compliance year. Tenants must respond within 30 days of a request, per the Benchmarking Law.

  • Use the Montgomery County Tenant Information Request Letter Template (MS Word, 99 K) to explain your request, list information you’re seeking, and obtain tenant utility data using a data release form. Using this template is not required and is only meant as a guide.

 

ENERGY STAR row of buildings

 

Gather your Energy Data

You will need whole-building energy data for all your meters in order to benchmark properly in Portfolio Manager. There are two ways to obtain your energy data:

(1) Gather your utility bills

  • If you are the account holder of all your meters and all your energy data is available to you, we recommend collecting your bills for manual input.  (Portfolio Manager provides a bulk-upload option to easily upload multiple meters at the same time.)

  • If you have tenants, you can request that they share/send their energy data to you for the purposes of benchmarking. Or, read below for information on requesting data from your utility/utilities.

(2) Request data from your utility/utilities

If you have multiple meters in your building, it is possible to request whole-building/aggregate data from your utilities for benchmarking purposes. This service is most beneficial to building owners with several buildings and more than 5 meters in each building, particularly where tenants pay the utility bills.

  • If you have 5 or more meters, you can usually request whole-building/aggregate data without tenant authorization.

  • If you have 4 or fewer meters, you can request data from your utility but must obtain authorization from tenants to obtain their energy data. Building owners will need to receive authorization from each tenant, which are available on on your utility's energy benchmarking pages below:

Utility-Specific Information

  • Pepco customers can find information on getting their Pepco data at Pepco Energy Benchmarking
  • Washington Gas customers with 5 or more meters can find information on getting their gas bill data at Washington Gas Energy Benchmarking.
  • BG&E offers information on getting electronic BGE energy data at Automated Benchmarking.  
  • Potomac Edison – Account holders can either call customer service at 1-800-686-0011 to request and receive up to 2 years of historical monthly data via postal mail OR account holds can sign-up for or log-in to their account on the First Energy website and retrieve their data this way. Only account holders can request utility data. Note: If the account holder is a tenant, they will need to request their data and provide it to their building owner.  

When to Request Utility Data

Utilities will take up to 10 business days to provide your data; the wait can be longer as we approach compliance deadlines. Building owners are encouraged to request their data early.

 


Benchmark your Building in Portfolio Manager

 

About the Software: Portfolio Manager

In order to streamline the process of benchmarking, the benchmarking law has identified U.S. EPA’s free, industry-standard ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager Tool as the standard software for benchmarking and reporting. Read about it at energystar.gov/benchmark.

Method 1: Do-It-Yourself Benchmarking

Portfolio Manager is built to be user-friendly and accessible for in-house staff to benchmark their buildings. In many cases, ENERGY STAR has found accounting, operations, and building management staff are entering data into Portfolio Manager. If you choose to Do-It-Yourself, below are some helpful tools to guide you.

Portfolio Manager Resources

  • Portfolio Manager Quick Start Guide (PDF, 508KB) offers the basics to setting up your Portfolio Manager account, including adding your property, entering your energy data, and seeing your results.
     
  • Details on Entering Your Utility Bill Data (PDF, 567KB) walks you through the steps to set up a meter and correctly enter data, add data to an existing meter, complete spreadsheet uploads, and information on Web Services (automated benchmarking).
     
  • Portfolio Manager Trainings offers both live and recorded webinars, written and video tutorials, and how-to’s for specific functions of the software.
     
  • Portfolio Manager Technical Support offers expert advice and guidance on how to benchmark your building(s) in Portfolio Manager.

Montgomery County DEP is working very closely with ENERGY STAR and defers to their technical support for guidance in benchmarking in the software.  Benchmarking per the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager guidelines are a best practice for compliance with the Benchmarking Law.

 

Method 2: Hire an Energy Service Company to Benchmark

Benchmarking is a common and regular practice for any energy efficiency or conservation project. Montgomery County and the region are home to many energy service companies that offer an array of services to help you manage your energy use. Many of these same companies are experienced in benchmarking and can help you benchmark your building.

What to Look For in an Energy Service CompanyDEP cannot endorse a particular company or business, but we recommend asking a few companies about their experience for benchmarking, their ability to help deliver energy savings, and other services they offer. You can ask for quotes from multiple companies, and they may be able to help you benchmark, and access to improve your building's energy performance. 

Where to Look for an Energy Service Company: DEP does not endorse a particular company or business, but we can direct you to existing lists of energy service companies that do similar work.

  • Trade Ally Programs offer a list of companies that assist utilities with energy efficiency improvements, many of which can offer benchmarking services:
  • ENERGY STAR Partners have a made a commitment with ENERGY STAR to support benchmarking and improving energy performance
     
  • Montgomery County Benchmarking Ambassadors (PDF, 317 KB) attended a special 3-hour "train-the-trainer" taught by EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Staff, got the details about complying with Montgomery County's law, and learned how to access data from utilities.

 

Word collage of benchmarking terms

 


Data Verification Requirement

Verification is considered an industry best practice, and ensures that building and energy data entered into Portfolio Manager are accurate. The purpose of verification is to enhance the quality of data being reported collectively through the Benchmarking Law. Verification requires a second pair of eyes from someone with knowledge about Portfolio Manager and building energy performance.

The Benchmarking Law requires that building owners complete a verification process the first year of compliance and every 3 years after.

 

How to Complete Verification

The Recognized Data Verifier should review the Data Verification Checklist provided by Portfolio Manager (under the Reports Tab and in the top right box) and confirm the building profile information and meter data. The required verification does not include looking at water metrics or indoor air quality, nor does it require a site visit.

This Data Verification Checklist must be printed and signed and given to the building owner. This signed Verification Checklist does not need to be submitted to DEP, unless it is requested by DEP (DEP is authorized to request documentation). Therefore, building owners must retain the most recent signed Data Verification Checklist for at least three years.

Once verification is completed, the building owner must enter the following details about the Recognized Data Verifier in the Property Notes field on the Details tab for each Covered building in Portfolio Manager:

  • Full Name
  • Credential (name/acronym)
  • Credential identifer (ID number)
  • Contact information (verifier's email address and phone number)

 

Acceptable Recognized Data Verifier Credentials

Building owners must demonstrate that reported benchmarking information is verified by a "Recognized Data Verifier." The following is a list of credentials that DEP has identified as acceptable to be a Recognized Data Verifier:

Acceptable Verification Credentials
Verification Credential Institution / Association
Professional Engineer (PE) National Society of Professional Engineers
Licensed Architect National Council of Architectural Registration Board
Registered Architect (RA) American Institute of Architects
Certified Energy Manager (CEM) Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
Building Energy Assessment Professional (BEAP) ASHRAE
Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) AEE
LEED – Professional with specialty in Operations + Maintenance (LEED-AP O+M) US Green Building Council (USGBC)
LEED-Fellow – For outstanding APs USGBC
Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP) ASHRAE
Commissioning Process Management Professional Certification (CPMP) ASHRAE
Operations and Performance Management Professional (OPMP) ASHRAE
Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP) Building Commissioning Association (BCA)
Associate Commissioning Professional (ACP) BCA
Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) International Facilities Management Association (IFMA)
Certified Facility Manager (CFM) IFMA
Certified Building Commissioning Professional (CBCP) AEE
Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) AEE
Existing Building Commissioning Professional (EBCP) AEE
RPA/FMA High Performance Designation (RPA/FMA-HP) BOMI International
Systems Maintenance Technician (SMT) BOMI International
Systems Maintenance Administrator (SMA) BOMI International
Real Property Administrator (RPA) with caveat requirements1 BOMI International
Certified Property Manager (CPM) with caveat requirements2 Institute of Real Estate Management

1RPA must have been achieved with the elective course, Asset Management OR achieved with completion of at least 3 of the 5 Sustainability/High Performance Experience Criteria.

2CPM must have been achieved with the following three functions selected and illustrated in the Experience Form: #3, #30, and #33.

 

Alternative Verification Path

Alternatively, Covered buildings can meet the verification requirement if the owner can demonstrate that the building has achieved the ENERGY STAR building certification for at least 6 months of the calendar year being benchmarked.

If a building owner is using this verification path for a Covered building, please indicate this in the Property Notes field by stating “ENERGY STAR Certification used for verification” and the month and year certification was achieved.

 


Reporting Data to the County

Reporting Deadlines

There are three groups of buildings required to benchmark and report data in Montgomery County.

 
Building Groups and Deadlines

Group

Total Building(s)* Square Footage

1st Data Year

First Deadline

County

50k sq. ft. +

2014

June 1, 2015

Group 1

250k sq. ft. +

2015

June 1, 2016

Group 2

50k sq. ft. up to 250k sq. ft.

2016

June 1, 2017

*The Montgomery County law defines a covered building as a nonresidential building, or any group of nonresidential buildings that have the same property identification number, that meet the given thresholds and criteria. 

 

Before Reporting

Prior to using this reporting link to report to DEP, be sure you have fulfilled the following requirements:

  • Enter all energy, water, and space use information in Portfolio Manager. Enter all data from January 1 – December 31 for the calendar year being reported for each property.
  • It is helpful to run Portfolio Manager’s tool to check for possible data errors prior to using this template to ensure that you have no fatal errors in your data submission. The Data Quality Checker timeframe should align with the calendar year being reported.
  • Identify your properties with your Montgomery County Building ID (MBID) in Portfolio Manager. 

Use our handy Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Checklist (PDF, 523 KB). This step-by-step checklist will ensure that you've followed all the right steps before reporting data to DEP. 
 

How to Report

Reporting to the County is easy once you’ve completed your benchmarking in Portfolio Manager. DEP will provide a reporting link closer to the first compliance deadline that will facilitate electronic reporting to the County through Portfolio Manager. There will be a new reporting link for each compliance year. Check the DEP Benchmarking website or sign up for the Benchmarking News in the months preceding deadlines for the reporting link. After clicking the link, log-in to your Portfolio Manager account and follow the step-by-step instructions on the screen.

If you are an energy service company submitting benchmarking data on behalf of a Montgomery-County-based client, you must report that you are submitting data on behalf of someone else.

**Calendar Year 2015 Reporting Link for Group 1 Buildings and County Facilities**


This link will take you to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account log-in screen—after logging in, you’ll see step-by-step instructions on the Data Request page. Data must be submitted to DEP no later than 5 pm Eastern on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. 

After sending your data to DEP, retain the auto-generated confirmation email you’ll receive from Portfolio Manager, as well as the signed Data Verification Checklist from your recognized data verifier and other records related to the energy reporting process. DEP will review the data you reported to us and follow-up with any questions or recommendations. If you have any edits to make to the data you reported, please use the same reporting link above (which will overwrite the first set of data you reported to DEP). 


After Reporting

If you need to make a change after you reported data, but before the deadline, go ahead and make your change and re-report your data to DEP. As long as it’s the same building in Portfolio Manager, the updated information will automatically replace what is reported to us. If it is after the deadline, contact DEP at energy@montgomerycountymd.gov so we can be sure to capture your most accurate data.


Enforcement

The Benchmarking Law is enforceable under Method 2 regulations (including fines for noncompliance), and any violation of the law is a Class A violation. DEP will send out Notice of Violation to any building owner of a Covered building who does not comply with the Law. Note that DEP is available to assist any building owner to help them comply with the law.

 

Beyond Benchmarking: Saving Energy & Recognition


Improve Your Building Energy Performance

Once your building has been benchmarked, you may find that there is room to improve energy efficiency (and maybe raise your score!). Simple adjustments to equipment start time, operations parameters, occupant behavior, and controls can reap significant energy and cost savings.
 

Utility Incentives

Commit to making energy improvements, and use your benchmarking data to discuss with your utility what incentives are available for saving energy. Learn more at:

PACE Financing

The County's Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing program allows commercial building owners to take out long-term loans for energy and water conserving projects and renewable energy projects and pay them back through the County’s tax assessment system. Visit DEP's PACE Financing website, or sign up for the Montgomery County Energy Financing News to stay up-to-date on the County's PACE program. 

 

Get Recognized


ENERGY STAR Certification

If your building achieved an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, you may qualify for ENERGY STAR Certification. Why earn ENERGY STAR Certification? Join the other buildings in Montgomery County and Maryland that are already certified, and learn about Ten reasons to pursue ENERGY STAR Certification Learn how to get certified and be recognized with the biggest little logo out there!

 

ENERGY STAR's Battle of the Buildings

Compete with other buildings like your own to see who can save the most energy each calendar year. Meet your goals and receive national attention from EPA’s National Building Competition program! Learn more and register!
 

U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge

The Better Buildings Challenge supports commercial and industrial building owners by providing technical assistance and proven solutions to energy efficiency. View the Program Overview (PDF, 147 KB) for more information.
 

GSA Leasing

Interested in leasing to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)? Be sure your building is up to their energy standards – able to achieve a score of 75 or higher (within 18 months of GSA occupancy).
 

DEP Recognition and your Benchmarking Story

Have a good story to tell?  Maybe you improved your score by 15 or 20 points?  Perhaps you did a savings project and your energy performance improved?  Maybe you finally got to 75? Tell us how you did it and get recognized! Email DEP to complete a BENCHMARKED Profile and be featured in our Montgomery County Energy News!
 

Congratulations to the Early Bird Benchmarkers and Early Reporters!

The Department of Environmental Protection would like to extend a big thank you to our Early Bird Benchmarkers and Early Reporters! Early Bird organizations earned the esteemed title of Early Bird Benchmarker by voluntarily reporting calendar year 2014 benchmarking data to DEP by August 1, 2015:

  • Adventist HealthCare
  • American Real Estate Partners
  • Brookfield Properties
  • The Chevy Chase Land Company
    of Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Colonel’s Limited dba Papa John’s Pizza
  • First Potomac Realty Trust
  • Grady Management, Inc.
  • Hughes Network Systems, LLC
  • The JBG Companies
  • Matan Companies
  • Montgomery College
  • ProMark Real Estate Services, LLC
  • Recurrent, LLC
  • The Tower Companies
  • Vanguard Realty Group

These organizations have greatly assisted DEP with developing data analyses and new guidance and outreach materials, and are now well-positioned to meet the upcoming requirements of the County’s Benchmarking Law. Download the Early Bird Benchmarker Flyer (PDF, 308 KB). Montgomery County honored these Early Birds at a special event in September 2015. Read about the Early Bird Press Event here. 

Following the successful Early Birds Pilot and Recognition Program in 2015, DEP also recognizes a handful of additional organizations that voluntarily benchmarked their building calendar year 2014 energy data and reported it to DEP by December 31, 2015 and becoming Early Reporters:

  • Federal Realty Investment Trust
  • MRP Realty
  • Tishman Speyer

We also acknowledge the leadership our own Montgomery County Department of General Services (DGS) has demonstrated by meeting their initial June 1, 2015 deadline. County buildings were given a deadline ahead of private sector deadlines so we might lead-by-example.  By benchmarking ahead of our private sector, DGS has contributed invaluable input, feedback, lessons learned, and best practices to enhance our benchmarking support. 

 

Benchmarking Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the Montgomery County Energy Benchmarking Forum

DEP created a new Montgomery County Energy Benchmarking forum -- a community list (a Google group) that building owners can use to ask questions and share lessons learned when complying with Montgomery County's Benchmarking Law. This forum is intended to be a useful tool for building owners, tenants, property management companies, and other stakeholders learn best practices and make complying with the Benchmarking Law. Simply request access to the group to join using your professional email address or Google account. You can opt to receive messages as they are posted, or in a daily or weekly digest format.

 

Building Energy Benchmarking Introduction: Brochure and PowerPoint Slides

Download the Montgomery County Benchmarking Brochure for an overview of what you need to know about the law and how to get started. Building Energy Benchmarking Law Brochure (PDF, 1.2 MB). To learn the basics of the Benchmarking Law, view the Montgomery County Benchmarking Introductory Forum presentations, held November 6, 2014, for an overview from DEP, Pepco, and ENERGY STAR. Watch the recording or view the slides (PDF, 2.3 MB).

 

Benchmarking and Reporting Checklist

To comply with the Law, building owners can use this reporting checklist, a step-by-step summary of how to benchmark, report data to the County, and comply with the Benchmarking Law. Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Checklist (PDF, 523 KB).

 

The Official Guide for Building Energy Benchmarking in Montgomery County

DEP has put together a comprehensive, set-by-step guide for complying with the Building Energy Benchmarking Law in Montgomery County, which includes background information, clarifying instructions, and details about reporting benchmarking data to the County. Download the Official Guide for Building Energy Benchmarking in Montgomery County (PDF, 1.9 MB).

 

Online GIS Map for Locating Tax Parcel Boundaries

Need help figuring out your tax parcel? Use the online GIS map created from current Maryland tax assessment records to locate the parcel that your building sits on, and see what other buildings share your parcel. Reminder: if your building shares a parcel with other buildings and collectively add up to 50,000 square feet and greater, you'll need to report benchmarking data to DEP.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

DEP developed a FAQ document to answer questions, provide some clarity, and help organizations meet the Benchmarking Law. Questions cover the law, how to organize your buildings, compliance, verification, and reporting. Benchmarking Law FAQs (PDF, 549 KB).

 

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Assistance

EPA offers a variety of resources to help users navigate the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. The ENERGY STAR Help Desk offers an extensive list of searchable FAQs as well as different avenues to contact EPA staff with questions. EPA also offers Portfolio Manager Trainings that include full-length or short training videos, either in pre-recorded or live viewing formats. 

 

Case Studies and Blog Articles

Read our benchmarking blog posts to get the scoop on local buildings that are benchmarking and highlights from our events.

 

Local Benchmarking Ambassadors

DEP is proud to recognize our newly expanded list of Benchmarking Ambassadors (PDF, 317 KB).  These individuals attended special 3-hour "train-the-trainer" Ambassadors Trainings in April and October 2015 at Montgomery College, taught by EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Staff, got the details about complying with Montgomery County's law, and information on accessing data from utilities. If you have a question about the law or how to best proceed with your benchmarking, these individuals and organizations are a great place to start. 

Disclaimer: Inclusion in this list does not confer certification, an official endorsement, or approval from the Montgomery County Government or any of its agencies.

 

DEP’s Building Inventory

DEP developed a preliminary Covered Buildings Inventory (MS Excel, 93K) to raise awareness about the Benchmarking Law. This list was created with current Maryland tax assessment records and the CoStar commercial building database. Please refer to the accompanying Covered Buildings Inventory informational document (PDF, 354K) which outlines DEP's data sources, assumptions, and definitions used in the inventory.

Note: This inventory is an approximation, meant to raise awareness about the law and help identify the buildings covered by the law. Each building owner will need to confirm their own building square footage to determine coverage under the Law.

 

Building Definitions and Scenarios Guide

With the variety of building arrangements, parcels, and complexes the County, benchmarking your Covered buildings under the Benchmarking Law might have you scratching your head. DEP is here to help! We've put together a document that will walk you through the different scenarios you may find your Covered building in, whether or not you need to benchmark under the Law, and next steps for each scenario. Download the Building Definitions and Scenarios Guide (PDF, 934 KB).

 

Tenant Information Request Letter Template

Building owners may need to request operations information from their tenants to have a full and complete Portfolio Manager property entry.This template includes: a table to enter contact information, sample transmittal memo text, required and optional fields for space use types for your tenants to complete, and a utility account information data release form. Using this template is optional--you may collect data from your tenants however you wish, but this template makes it easy to get the information you need quickly! Building owners must request any space data needed in writing to the tenant no later than March 31 of each compliance year. Tenants must respond within 30 days of a request, per the Benchmarking Law. Using this template is not required and is only meant as a guide. Tenant Information Request Letter Template (MS Word, 99 KB). 

 

Reported and Disclosed Metrics

The Benchmarking Law requires the County to make reported benchmarking information readily available to the public. Not all collected metrics will be disclosed. The collected but undisclosed data will only be used to provide aggregate metrics and portfolio-wide benchmarks. DEP Fact Sheet: Metrics Reported and Disclosed (PDF, 26 KB).

 

Building Exemption and Waiver Application

Per the Benchmarking Law, commercial buildings may request an exemption for certain use types or a waiver if the building meets certain requirements using this form: Building Exemption/Waiver Application (PDF, 78 KB). Group 1 buildings seeking an exemption/waiver must submit this form to DEP no later than May 1, 2016.  

 

Montgomery County DEP Support

Montgomery County DEP offers support for building owners benchmarking in Portfolio Manager through the following resources:
  • DEP Office Hours: These are monthly sessions held at DEP to answer any and all questions you may have about the Benchmarking Law. Subscribe to the Montgomery County Benchmarking News for these event announcements.
     
  • Benchmarking Law and Requirements Questions: If you have a question about compliance, details of the law, or the processes and procedures to comply (e.g., the MBID), you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 549 KB) or email your question to DEP at energy@montgomerycountymd.gov.
     
  • Portfolio Manager Support: In general, DEP uses the same Portfolio Manager resources as the public and can refer you to Portfolio Manager’s technical support. DEP may offer to try to help you with any questions in Portfolio Manager – in these cases, we may ask you to share your property (read-only) with us so we can look at it from our computers to try to solve the problem. You can revoke this sharing at any time. To request/schedule a DEP session, email DEP at energy@montgomerycountymd.gov.
 

Navigation
General Information | How to Comply with the Law | Save Energy & Get Recognized | Benchmarking Resources 

Contact
Lindsey Robinett Shaw | 
Department of Environmental Protectionenergy@montgomerycountymd.gov | 240-777-7754