The City’s building stock is one of its greatest assets. Benchmarking energy and water usage allows building managers to obtain a baseline understanding of their building’s resource usage, compare that to peer buildings and other buildings in their portfolio, and to target improvements which will enhance their buildings’ operations. The results for building owners are buildings with lower operating costs, higher occupancy, less turnover, and greater resale value. The results for the City are buildings that are more efficient and more desirable, attracting new businesses and residents.
In addition to the economic benefit of benchmarking, there are real human health and wellness benefits to more efficient buildings. For one, the climate in South Florida is very hot and projected to get even hotter. Palm Beach County can anticipate an average of 121 days with a heat index above 100°F by 2050. Being able to efficiently and inexpensively cool building will become even more important and reduce the energy cost burden for residents and businesses adjusting to higher temperatures.
Building energy benchmarking is also a recognized best practice for reaching greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. The City Council of Boca Raton has set a target of greenhouse gas emission reduction of 63% by 2030 and net zero before 2050. Building energy use accounts for nearly half (49.1%) of the City’s greenhouse gas emissions. An analysis of high impact actions necessary to meet the City’s targets found that reducing energy use of 5% of commercial and 5% of residential square footage by 20%, along with actions in other sectors, will get the City to its goal.