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B3 Benchmarking

B3 Benchmarking

Maximize Data Driven Savings for Public Building Customers

Buildings consume approximately 40 percent of total energy use in the United States. Public buildings represent nearly half of that energy use. Across Iowa’s municipal utilities, more than 330 public building owners manage more than 16,500,000 square feet of space, excluding state facilities. Understanding energy use across these buildings presents a substantial opportunity to identify energy-efficiency opportunities that can generate an estimated $9.5 million in savings. Realizing these savings means more funding can be reinvested in communities, whether that means a teacher’s salary, investments in emergency services, or improvements to public amenities such as schools, libraries, roadways, or local parks and recreation facilities.

A free statewide program, the Iowa Public Buildings Benchmarking Program, helps municipal utilities and their customers identify, track, assess, and act on building energy data to improve performance and develop a strategic, targeted approach that saves energy and increases building performance. This translates to the prudent use of public funds in a way that benefits communities and the environment.

So how does benchmarking work?

By comparing a building’s current energy use against an established baseline, and trending that energy use against similar energy-code-compliant buildings, the software helps building managers: 

  • Measure and track energy use across their portfolio, 
  •  Identify variances, and 
  •  Narrow in on potential building performance and equipment issues. 

The software allows users to create reports, set energy goals and targets, and benchmark performance toward those metrics.

Public building owners and managers can track more than just building energy use. Major pieces of equipment or renewable energy systems can also be tracked in the software, providing a reliable, centrally located platform to evaluate entire portfolios. The system also provides the flexibility to implement interval meter data, up to as little as 15-minute intervals. 

Once the energy data has been uploaded for a public building or portfolio, the software provides helpful visualizations to evaluate performance.

If a municipal utility, local government or another public building owner has used the B3 Program in the past but has been inactive for a while, it’s a great time to take another look.

Improvements issued in 2018 have significantly enhanced the versatility of the software. These include:

  • Updates to weather normalization
  • Reporting of total electric - including distributed renewables, sub-metering improvements, and more.
  • Enhancements to the software’s tools, features, and reporting capabilities to allow utilities to work more closely with their customers to develop improvement plans. 

If you would like to learn more about the B3 Benchmarking Program or would like some assistance in getting your community or customers on board, IAMU and staff at the Iowa Energy Office can help. Take advantage of this free tool today and start saving now. For more information contact Jeremy Caron at the IAMU at or 515-289-5213.

You may also visit the Iowa B3 Public Buildings Benchmarking Program website to learn more.


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