Energy Benchmarking

We can't track we we don't measure - so we are working to create energy performance benchmarks for all City of Portland buildings. As part of this effort we are working with the utilities and a Portland-based sustainability consultant to streamline the reporting of data from the utilities to customers. The consultant will use the data to create dashboards that will allow us to see the energy performance of each of our facilities on a monthly basis.

On November 7th, 2016 the City of Portland adopted an energy benchmarking ordinance which requires covered properties to annually report water and energy usage. While this ordinance is already in effect for municipal buildings, all covered properties have a December 8th, 2018 reporting deadline. You can view and download the ordinance here.

On October 17, 2018 the Sustainability and Transportation Committee voted to extend the reporting deadline to allow stakeholders more time to work with the utilities to streamline access to energy consumption data.  The reporting deadline for all City buildings has been updated to May 1, 2019, and all other covered properties should be compliant one year after the data is available. The City Council will be voting on extension during the November 19, 2018 meeting. For more information contact Troy Moon, Sustainability Coordinator at

Is my property covered?
Covered properties will receive a letter notifying them of their requirements mid-summer.
Properties covered under the ordinance include:

  • Municipal Buildings
  • Non-Residential single or grouped buildings over 20,000 sq. ft.
  • Residential Buildings that singly or together contain 50+ dwelling units.
Covered Properties Building Information

Why did the City Council pass the ordinance?
You can’t manage what you don’t measure! The invisible nature of energy use and emissions make it difficult to further sustainability goals. In order to track progress, a baseline needs to first be established. By establishing a baseline, efforts made to reduce energy use can be counted towards Portland’s goal to reduce CO2 emissions 80% by 2050. In addition to saving financial and natural resources, a number of studies have tied higher energy efficiency scores to higher property values as well as higher occupancy rates. By simply making information publicly available, market forces begin to take action, enabling property owners, potential buyers, tenants, realtors, and others to make decisions that create a value for energy performance. Benchmark information will also inform City initiatives, educational outreach, and may potentially create opportunities for peer learning. 

How do I comply?
Buildings covered under the ordinance are required to report basic property information such as address and gross floor area, as well as yearly energy and water usage metrics through the EPAs Energy Star Portfolio Manager Tool. Other descriptive information required will depend on property use type, for example, a supermarket will have to report different information than an office building. Once information is reported, buildings will be able to track energy use over time and are provided with an energy score comparing their energy use to those of similar buildings. A guide to the reporting process can be found here. Helpful guides and tutorials are also available on the Energy Star Portfolio Manager website. A quick start guide can be found here and their training resources can be found here

While municipal buildings are continually being updated, other covered properties have until December 8th, 2018 to input energy and water usage data for 2017. The timeline below illustrates reporting dates for covered properties.

Compliance Timeline for Benchmarking

Compliance Guide

1. Set up an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account for the covered property.

All covered property owners are required to report energy and water use data through the free EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. To help you through this process, follow the How-to-Guide and walk step-by-step through the process of setting up an account for your property and adding utility meters.

2. Gather all energy and water use data for the covered property.

a) Electricity - Collect monthly electricity usage from each billing period from your Central Maine Power billing statements.

b) Heat - For the appropriate heat source on your property, gather usage from each billing period from the supplier.

c) Water - The Portland Water District provides monthly water use and billing information through MyOnlineBilling. Property owners can create an account and download water data by following a 4-step prompt. To get started, be sure to have your account number present.

3. Enter your monthly energy and water use data into Portfolio Manager.

There are three ways to enter your data into Portfolio Manager. One approach is to manually input data for energy and water meters on the property. Alternatively, property owners can upload data using a spreadsheet template. Or, an energy management consultant with your account authorization can compile and upload data into Portfolio Manager.

4. Share your report with the City

Want to improve your ENERGY STAR score?

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Works to advance energy efficient solutions through stakeholder engagement, information exchange, and resource development. 
Efficiency MaineProvides a variety of programs and incentives to help you upgrade the efficiency of your home or business. Information on lighting, heating, appliances, water heating, heat pumps, and weatherization available. 
EPAProvides information on a range of energy efficient appliances, financing options, and steps that existing buildings can take to reduce their energy costs.

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