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Iowa Public Building Benchmarking Project Phase II

What is the goal of the benchmarking project?

The project focuses on adding energy data from over 800 of the state’s public buildings into the current  benchmarking platform, identifying buildings that are good candidates for energy efficiency retrofits, and sharing the benchmarking results with other organizations interested in improving public building energy efficiency. This phase of the benchmarking project is a continuation of the Iowa Benchmarking Pilot Project, which aims to establish an public benchmarking platform for energy efficiency in Iowa.

“Hopefully this program will serve as a tool for understanding and planning future retrofits and energy efficiency projects,” said Xiaohui (Joe) Zhou, the Building Energy Efficiency Program Manager at the Iowa Energy Center. “Ideally, it will also inspire groups to uptake energy efficiency changes in their public buildings.”

The partnerships and resources developed during the program will help build an effective and self-sustaining public building energy efficiency benchmarking program for the future.

How will the benchmarking project be conducted?

The Iowa Energy Center will work under the contract with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The project begins by adding 800 buildings to the current Iowa Benchmarking Platform by September 2014. It is expected that by the end of the program, there will be at least 2,015 buildings in the benchmarking platform database, equaling about 25 percent of all public buildings in Iowa. With the collected information, the team can identify buildings that are good candidates for energy efficiency retrofits and could support the state’s goal of 20 percent energy savings by 2020. During this process, the Iowa Energy Center and the IEDA will also provide training and education for the platform, and work to improve the benchmarking platform functionalities with a web-based data protocol.

In the final stage of the program, the Iowa Energy Center and the IEDA hope to use the data collected from the first phase and showcase energy efficiency improvements and whole building retrofits. The outcomes of this phase will be used as a model to encourage other organization to undertake similar projects. During this stage, the Iowa Energy Bank and Iowa Utility energy efficiency programs will provide financial and technical resources needed to undertake the improvements. The strategies and partnerships developed through this program will help promote widespread building retrofits and energy-saving activities.

With information from the Iowa Public Benchmarking system database, building owners can easily identify which of the benchmarked building sites are consuming more or less energy than expected or building sites that are consuming more or less energy than the previous year. The database can also provide a point of reference for similar building types in Iowa.

How can you be involved with the benchmarking project?

As part of the upcoming benchmarking efforts, the program hopes to add about 800 buildings to the database from various public sectors: city, county, K-12 schools, community colleges, and state agencies.

If your organization is interested in participating, please complete the request participation form. Participation in the program is free. If you want to learn more about the Iowa Benchmarking System, take a few minutes to view a recorded webinar or read the invitation to participate. For any other questions or comments, contact us.

The cutoff to submit request participation forms is June 1, 2013.

Who else is already involved with the benchmarking project?

In addition to the Iowa Energy Center, the project is led by a partnership of the Iowa Economic Development Authoritythe Weidt GroupCenter for Energy & Environmental Education (CEEE) at the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.

The following is a list of the current 59 organizations (1218 buildings) participating in the Iowa Public Benchmarking program:

Benchmarking Project Phase II partner organizations: