Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs are organized into the following categories:

Changing Data - Enter, Edit, and Delete

I have a space usage type not included in your list. Please do your best to find a similar space type from the list of possible types. Benchmarks can only be gathered for known space usage types. If you cannot find a similar space type, you may select "Other'. Note that square footage defined as 'Other' is not calculated within the benchmark model; thus your ratio will be less accurate.

How many meter readings should I enter? At minimum, the B3 Benchmarking requires 12 consecutive months of consumption data for all active meters. The system will estimate gaps for you if you miss a month, but it will not estimate large portions of missing data.

How do I delete a building or site? If the building or site has been decommissioned or demolished, please create a new building version indicating this. The "Create Building Versions" video explains how to do this. If you have made an error and the building or site has never existed, please Contact Us to delete a building or site for you.  Because large amounts of data can potentially be stored in a building or site, we want to help you avoid accidental deletions by adding this extra precautionary step.

How do I delete a meter? If a meter has been switched out and/or disconnected, indicate the disconnection date inside the Meter Editor.  If the meter truly never existed or if you have entered data in error, delete the meter.  To do this, take a look at the the Summary tab where you'll see the list of meters in a table in the bottom half of the screen.  Identify the meter you would like to delete and select the down arrow menu button for that meter.  Select "Delete Meter" to remove the meter from the Site.

How do I edit the characteristics and attributes of an Organization or Site? Locate the permanent buttons at the top right corner of the application. Click the notepad icon to change the name and attributes as well as add notes about the site or organization.

The People Piece

Am I the right person to be handling this? Please Contact Us with the name and phone number of the person you feel should handle this inquiry.

How do I contact you? All the contact information is on the Contact Us page.

Should I tell you about other public buildings? You bet! We are always trying to keep our databases current.

I have a space usage type not included in your list.  Please do your best to find a similar space type from the list of possible types. Benchmarks can only be gathered for known space usage types. If you cannot find a similar space type, you may select 'Other'. Note that square footage defined as 'Other' is not calculated within the benchmark model thus your ratio will be less accurate.

Metrics

What's the difference between a Benchmark and a Baseline? In the B3 Benchmarking system, the Benchmark is an engineering model of the site, produced on the fly, that predicts how much energy that site would use if it were built to today's energy code. The benchmark is used to compare each site's actual vs predicted performance to identify which sites should be audited for energy improvement projects. If you improve the right sites in your portfolio, you will get the best return on your improvement efforts and funds. The benchmark metric is only available in the Energy Mode. 

The Baseline is a comparison of your site to itself over time. You select a baseline period, and the B3 Benchmarking system shows how the site would perform in subsequent years if operated in the same fashion. The decrease between actual consumption and the baseline is savings, based on year over year changes in the operation, occupancy, building components, or systems. Within the Energy Mode, the system automatically applies weather normalization to the baseline. This option can be turned off.

What does the Benchmark Index Ratio mean? A ratio of less than 1.0 means the building is using less energy than expected. A ratio higher than 1.0 means the building is using more energy than expected.

What's in it for me? You get to see how your Sites and Buildings are performing compared to an engineering energy benchmark. This can help you identify Buildings that are good candidates for improvement, and perhaps justify funds to do so.

What do I do if my meter serves multiple buildings? In the Meter Editor, the middle box allows you to mark the buildings that the meter is connected to. Simply check off the appropriate meters.

One of my Sites is a known poor performer, but is reporting a low ratio (or vice versa). If one of your sites looks like it ranks incorrectly, you may have entered incorrect square footage, space usages, occupancy hours, % heated/cooled, consumption units (therms vs. __). Another cause may be that you have meters incorrectly connected to sites. You may be missing a meter that services that building or may have an extra meter that really services another building.

Why does my building not receive an ENERGY STAR score?B3 provides ENERGY STAR scores for all eligible buildings, which include approximately 20 space usage types. Because more than 60 space usage types can be tracked and managed in B3, only the 20 types that match those in ENERGY STAR will receive a score. If you would like to get a building ENERGY STAR certified, but the building does not qualify for a typical score, we can work with you to determine the source EUI among other metrics to qualify for certification.

How do I get my building ENERGY STAR certified? Once you have a building that achieves and ENERGY STAR score of 75 or greater, it qualifies for ENERGY STAR certification. Since certification can only be done through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, please contact us to help you access data in Portfolio Manager and start the certification process.

Software

I am having technical problems.  What should I do? First, check your browser.  Are you using Safari?  Microsoft Silverlight, the platform on which B3 Benchmarking runs, no longer supports the Safari browser.  This means that once problems arise, there is no one available at Microsoft to fix them.  We suggest using a different browser such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Firefox. If you are still noticing problems, please contact us.

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