When it comes to energy management analysis, one of the most useful tools at your disposal is benchmarking – comparing the energy consumption data from your facility to an outside source. Benchmarking provides you with a baseline number so you can see how you stack up against other businesses.

While it is an incredibly useful tool, benchmarking does present its fair share of challenges; most notably finding quality sources for comparison. Here are four types of energy benchmarking which may be beneficial for your company:

1. Reports from your utility provider.

If you are looking for statistics about energy consumption, a good place to start is your utility provider. After all, they provide you with a free benchmarking tool every month in the form of a bill. You can use your utility bill to compare your energy consumption to previous months, or other customers who use the same provider.

2. Energy Star ratings.

We have all heard of Energy Star before. Many of us even have Energy Star-certified appliances in our homes. What you may not know, however, is that they offer a benchmarking tool known as Portfolio Manager. Using this online software application, you can input data about your facility and see how it compares to buildings across the country on a 100-point scale.

3. Industry-specific reports.

Certain industries release periodic reports and publications detailing energy use. If you are lucky enough to work in one of these industries, these should be your go-to benchmarking tools because they provide context. For example, the heavy equipment needed to operate a factory will always result in higher energy use than a small storefront, so it is unfair to compare the two (as you might be doing if you use utility bills as a comparison tool).

4. In-house energy management system.

By far, the most insightful and effective tool for energy benchmarking is a professionally-installed energy management system. Using a series of connected meters and software, an energy management system can tell you how much energy your facility is consuming in real time. You can also pinpoint this usage down to specific pieces of equipment through the use of submeters, and access historical data for all of your benchmarking needs.

Electro Industries is a worldwide supplier of energy management systems. For the past 40 years, we have helped businesses all over the globe save money, energy, and the environment. Visit our website for more information, or give us a call at 866-928-7908.