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IREM Survey Reveals Energy Benchmarking Practices

March 13, 2017 | Todd Feist

The first IREM Energy Efficiency Survey, conducted in April 2016, asked survey participants about their building energy efficiency practices and perceptions. Energy efficiency has greatly increased in adoption over the past decade, and IREM wanted to probe how and why owners and managers pursue efficient operations and energy investments.

Download the free report Building Performance That Pays: Insights from the First IREM Energy Efficiency Survey to see results on the area of the survey that focused on financial analysis of building energy efficiency.

Another section of the survey focused on benchmarking practices. Following are the findings for commercial properties.

  • 71.8% of respondents indicated that they benchmark energy consumption at some level, with 38.5% benchmarking the entire property.
  • 67.9% of those respondents use ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® as their benchmarking tool, while 37.5% use a utility billing and tracking service and 47.3% use an in-house tool (respondents were asked to choose all that apply)
  • 89.3% of respondents that benchmark energy consumption indicated that they use previous data for that property as their scale of comparison, while 45.5% use portfolio performance data (respondents were asked to choose all that apply).
  • 79.5% of respondents said that their engineering team uses benchmarking data to make operational improvements.
  • 52.3% of respondents indicated that properties in their portfolio have private energy meters (e.g., to monitor HVAC equipment).

Stay tuned for an invitation to participate in the 2017 IREM Energy Efficiency Survey. In the meantime, download the free 2016 survey report.

Benchmarking energy and water, in areas under management control at a minimum, are Baseline Requirements for the IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification. To get started on a certification for your office property, multifamily community, or shopping center, visit

About the Author
Todd Feist is the Sustainability Program Manager at IREM Headquarters in Chicago. He develops classroom and online courses and helps manage the IREM Sustainability program, including the IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification. 

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