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Effective August 31, 2009, several important updates will be made in Portfolio Manager [including related tools: Target Finder and the Automated Benchmarking System (ABS)] which may impact your energy performance ratings.
1. New Rating for Houses of Worship
A rating will now be available for Houses of Worship. Spaces that are currently defined as ‘Other-Religious Worship’ will be transferred automatically into the new ratable space category, and therefore may receive a rating. In order to compute the new rating, there are four new inputs: seating capacity; weekdays of operation; presence of cooking facilities; and number of commercial refrigeration/freezer units. When the updates are released on August 31, 2009, your building will be assigned default values for each of these new attributes. To ensure that your facilities continue to receive the most accurate ratings, please log into Portfolio Manager on or after August 31, 2009 and provide actual information to replace default values. Note: Houses of worship achieving a rating of 75 or higher will be eligible to apply for the ENERGY STAR label.
2. Updated Rating Methodology for Warehouses
EPA has updated the methodology used to rate buildings with warehouses (both refrigerated and non-refrigerated) using the most recent market data, the 2003 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS).
These changes will enable you to receive more accurate energy performance ratings, which will facilitate tracking and managing energy performance at your buildings. No new user input fields will be added as part of this change. Due to the application of more recent market data, most buildings are likely to experience a change in their rating.
EPA does not know how these changes will affect ratings of specific individual buildings, in advance.
3. New Retail Eligibility Rule
In order to receive a rating, Retail space will now be required to have an exterior entrance to the public. All existing Retail spaces will be assigned a default value to indicate they do have an external entrance.
4. New Optional Hotel Characteristics
To assist EPA with ongoing research in the hospitality sector, and to help you track important characteristics at your facilities, there will be five new optional attributes for Hotel space: Hours per day guests are on site; Number of guest meals served per year; Floor area of full-service spas; Floor area of gym/fitness center; and Annual quantity of laundry processed on-site.
5. New Fields for on-Site Solar and Wind Energy
When you enter an electricity meter, you will now be asked to document whether the electricity is purchased from a utility or generated from wind or solar energy on site. You will now be required to report the energy used from any on-site solar and wind installations at your building. In some cases, a facility will produce more electricity than it needs, and therefore can sell this back to the grid. Therefore, you will also be asked if you sell any portion of the electricity you generate from your solar or wind installation. On-site solar and wind energy will now be incorporated into your site and source energy values and your energy performance rating.
6. New tracking for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
A REC represents the environmental, social, and other non-power qualities associated with a unit of renewable electricity. You may purchase RECs whether or not you have on-site renewable energy.
Portfolio Manager will allow you to track REC purchases at the building level, for all buildings in your portfolio. This will help you track the role of green power in your organization's greenhouse gas emissions inventory and reduction program.
7. New Fuel and Unit Choices
To help you enter energy data for your building, there will be two new fuel types (District Hot Water and District Chilled Water - Other) and two new energy unit options (Liters for liquid fuels; and Cubic Meters for natural gas).
*Important Notice* Portfolio Manager System Down Time In preparation of system updates to the rating models, Portfolio Manager will be UNAVAILABLE beginning 5:00 pm EDT on Friday, August 28,2009 until 8:00 am EDT on Monday, August 31, 2009.
Additional guidance relating to these changes will be available on the website on August 31, 2009. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit: www.energystar.gov