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The City aims to capture 5% of the commercial square footage and 5% of residential square footage in the City voluntarily participating in the program. The City’s goal is to demonstrate that participating properties reduce their energy consumption by 20% between enrolling in the program and 2030. These targets align with the high impact actions (HIAs) determined as necessary to meet the City’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. By supporting building owners and managers to reduce energy and water usage, the program will also result in helping participants reduce operating costs and will support the creation of jobs related to energy assessments and building retrofits.
Energy benchmarking is the process of tracking and measuring a buildings energy use over time. Energy data and basic building characteristics, such as size, location, and occupancy, are entered into a tracking software. Tracking software, like the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, can then compare energy performance of the building to a national average of similar buildings. Benchmarking allows building owners and operators to compare their building’s performance to that of similar buildings in order to recognize opportunities for improvement.
Participants must be owners or managers of commercial or multifamily buildings within the City limits and above 10,000 square feet. Buildings must have been in operation for at least 12 months prior to joining the program and be able to provide at least 12 months of utility data.
The very basic requirement of the program is to enter 12 months of building data into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and share the resulting report with the City. Time will be required to set up the property in Portfolio Manager, obtain the appropriate data, and enter the data. Though not mandatory, there will be opportunities to attend webinars and trainings as well as quarterly cohort meetings. For the first year of participation this may take up to 25 staff hours and subsequent years should be less.
The City will run this program for six years and hopes that participants will be fully engaged from the time they join until they submit final data in 2030. To that end, it is important that there is organizational buy-in to participation. To demonstrate this, we ask that a public statement be made by the organization’s leadership committing to the goals of the program. The form that this commitment will take can vary based on organizational preference. It may be an official statement or press release, social media posts, letters to tenants, inclusion of the program logo and statement of participation on the organizational website, or another method more appropriate to the participant. The commitment itself is flexible. The organization could commit to meeting the program goal of reducing energy use by 20% or a more general statement about improving or maintaining building efficiency.
Participants will need to enter basic information about their building. This includes primary use, square footage, and occupancy. Participants will need to provide whole building energy usage which may be added across multiple meters. Participants may also choose to enter building water usage.
For multifamily buildings or other buildings in which tenants have individual meters, you may need to work with Florida Power and Light to obtain whole building data.
No, the City will not disclose your building’s information except with your consent and under certain conditions as outlined below. Buildings wishing to advertise and leverage high scores may do so using the City program communication, but it is not the intention of the City to penalize lower performing buildings who are choosing to participate and working towards improving performance.
There is NO COST to participation in the program. There is no registration fee to join and the use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is provided at no cost from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The only expenses which may be incurred would be related to the staff time required to fulfill the requirements of the program.
No, there are no requirements for retrofits, capital improvements, or demonstrating improvement in energy performance. However, we sincerely hope that once you have the data you will be inspired to make informed improvements! The City hopes to encourage that further by offering incentives for participating buildings to conduct Level 2 energy audits and help access free energy assessments.
Florida Power and Light offers many incentives to businesses including the Business Energy Manager and free on site analysis by an FPL Energy Expert. These tools and resources can help identify simple actions and quick fixes to save energy and money, improving both your ENERGY STAR score and your bottom line. Contact your FPL representative to schedule your assessment and visit the Programs and Resources page for more information.
No. The program requires submission of energy use data, but water use data is highly encouraged and can also be reported within ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
Generally, these data will be obtained from the electric bills associated with the building. The program is looking for whole building data, even if the building has multiple meters. If the building includes tenant occupied space in which utilities are separately metered and paid by the tenant, aggregate whole building data which does not identify individual meters may be available from Florida Power and Light.
Yes! Many property owners have portfolios which include multiple buildings or operate a campus with multiple buildings. Benchmarking multiple buildings in your portfolio will help you to prioritize improvements to save the most energy and get the most value for your investment. Each property owner/manager is only eligible for one energy audit incentives up to $15,000 which can be applied across multiple buildings.
Participants are eligible for incentives once they have provided the initial 12 months of data for the property.
Every property participating may receive non-monetary incentives. Each property can be listed on the website, receive recognition for ENERGY STAR certification or score improvements, and receive window decals.
Only one audit rebate incentive is available per property owner or manager but may be spread across a portfolio of properties. For example, if a participant is benchmarking multiple buildings on a campus and chooses to do an audit on three of the buildings, they may receive a reimbursement of 50% of the cost of each audit up to a total of $15,000 for the three audits.
As additional incentives are added to the City will clarify the rules around incentive use across multiple buildings owned or managed by the same entity.
No! The only restriction on building age is that it must have been in operation for at least 12 months. Older buildings and even historic properties are welcome to join. There is very little correlation between building age and building performance.
Absolutely! It is just much easier for you to do so. Simply share your data with the City and use your remaining time to think about ways to improve your energy and water usage.
Yes! ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager supports the benchmarking of complex properties through the campus benchmarking feature. This allows you to benchmark and evaluate your property as an aggregate campus (“parent”) facility, as well as individual (“child”) buildings or facilities.
Yes! Florida Power and Light can provide whole building energy use data which is not connected to account numbers, protecting the privacy of your tenants while allowing you to assess your whole building. Reach out to your FPL representative to ask for this information.
The Building Energy Efficiency Program is designed to help the City reach 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. The program will have six cohorts. The initial pilot cohort will be the 2024 cohort. Members of this cohort will indicate interest by April 2024 and commit by submitting data by June 1, 2024.
The 2025 cohort and all subsequent annual cohorts will accept participants on a rolling basis. To be a part of an annual cohort the participant will need to submit data for the previous year by April 1 of the cohort year. For example, members of the 2025 cohort will submit 12 months of utility data which cover the calendar year of 2024 by April 1 of 2025.
Regardless of the cohort year the participant joined, the participant will be responsible for submitting data every year on or before April 1st. The last program deadline will be April 1, 2030 by which all cohorts will submit their 2029 utility data and the program is anticipated to close.
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.
Participants in the program will have access to technical assistance related to Portfolio Manager. This will come in the form of training sessions, office hours, and as time and resources permit, may include on-site visits for data entry assistance.
The Portfolio Manager website is also a wealth of resources.