Efficient Buildings Collaborative

The Efficient Buildings Collaborative brings together the county, cities and buildings owners to do energy benchmarking.

Energy benchmarking is the process of monitoring and reporting the energy use of a building. It allows comparison of buildings’ energy use to similar buildings or buildings’ past performance.

Cities can get help from Hennepin County adopting an energy benchmarking ordinance. They can also get help developing and implementing the program.

Building owners can get help from the county on how to benchmark their building.

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For cities

Benefits of joining the Efficient Buildings Collaborative

Program expertise

You get the cost effective services of a consultant specializing in energy benchmarking.

Cost-effective services

Services you receive reduce your need for additional staff.

You pay less for consulting services than if you hired services individually.

Consistent benchmarking process

Makes it simpler for owners to benchmark their buildings.

Ordinance development and adoption

Cities can get help developing a framework for passing an ordinance.

This includes strategic planning meetings and tools, such as:

  • Guide to passing an ordinance
  • Help understanding the city building fleet
  • Ordinance template

Ordinance implementation

Once the city passes an ordinance, it can receive technical services through a contract with the county.

Options to help you successfully implement the program can include:

  • Building identification and set-up
  • Program training and outreach
  • Technical assistance for building owners and data compliance
  • Reporting and scorecards including interactive GIS map of building energy data
  • Connect building owners to energy efficiency programs

Participating cities

Cities outside of Hennepin County may participate in the Efficient Buildings Collaborative.

Contact

For more detail on cost and scope of the services, contact Leah Hiniker at 612-543-1219 or leah.hiniker@hennepin.us.

For building owners

Participating building owners can enter energy use data into a free online program. The program is called Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Owners will enter data before reporting to the city.

Building owners have access to step-by-step guidance to help make this process easier. Guidance documents and instructional videos are included.

Building owners can:

  • Get their unique building ID for this program
  • Enter their building data into the online Energy Star Portfolio Manager
  • Report their data to the city by June 1 each year

Exemption requests

Buildings may be exempt from submitting their benchmarking data.

Exemption criteria may vary by city but can include:

  • The building is experiencing financial distress
  • The building is under 50% occupied
  • The certificate of owner occupancy was issued less than two years prior to the deadline 

Depending on the exemption request supporting documentation and written explanation may be required.

Exemptions are only valid for one reporting year and must be resubmitted each year.

For instructions on what classifies a building as exempt and how to submit the exemption form, watch exemption video.

File an exemption request

Compliance checklist for Efficient Buildings Collaborative 

Building owners can use this checklist to comply with the Efficient Buildings Collaborative using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Step 1: Create an account in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and add your building(s)

Affected building owners must complete this prior to entering annual energy data:

Step 2: Find and attach your MN Efficient Buildings Collaborative ID

  • Each building that must report energy and water performance has a unique ID. This ID is called the MN Efficient Buildings Collaborative ID.
  • Adding this ID to your building ensures the data you report connects to the correct building during compliance checks.
  • Affected building owners must find and attach their ID prior to entering annual energy data. 
  • To see if your building is required to comply with the Efficient Building Collaborative view the covered buildings list. You can sort the data by city and search for your building by address. There you’ll find your building’s EBC ID and assessor reported square footage. Covered buildings list
  • Add the ID to your building’s profile in Portfolio Manager under ‘Details’ > ‘Unique Identifiers’ > ‘Standard IDs’ > ‘MN Efficient Buildings Collaborative ID (EBC)’. 
  • To add the ID to your building’s profile in Portfolio Manager, watch the video for instructions.

Step 3: Enter your whole-building energy data (not including water)

Building owners must annually report whole-building energy data by June 1. The report must cover the previous calendar year (January 1 – December 31). This includes whole-building energy consumption of electricity, natural gas, solar, district steam, district chilled water, etc.

For the fuels that Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy provide, you may set-up automatic upload of aggregated whole-building energy data directly into Portfolio Manager, using their tools.

Instructions on how to set-up automatic upload:

Manual entry is required for all other energy sources but may be used for Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy. Watch the video for instructions.

Step 4: Enter your whole-building water data

Depending on your city’s requirements, you may also need to report whole-building water data by June 1 for the previous calendar year (January 1 – December 31).

Step 5: Run the data quality checker

Complete this step only after all energy (and possibly water) data for the entire calendar year is in Portfolio Manager.

  • Run the Data Quality Checker under “Check for Possible Errors” within the ‘Summary’ tab. Watch the video for instructions.
  • Ignore any waste and materials meter alerts.

Step 6: Submit your data to the city

Submit your data by June 1:

Additional user guides

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Resources:

Contacts

Efficient Buildings Collaborative Help Desk

In-person training sessions

The EBC is offering a number of in-person benchmarking compliance trainings, which will provide one-on-one assistance before the June 1st deadline. Please bring a laptop and have access to your building information and energy bills.

*Edina and St. Louis Park training sessions are open to building owners in both Edina and St. Louis Park.

Edina*

  • Wednesday, April 29, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Edina City Hall (Council Chambers Room)
  • 4801 West 50th Street, Edina, MN 55424
  • RSVP

Saint Paul

  • Wednesday, March 25, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Saint Paul Western District Police Station (Community Room)
  • 389 Hamline Avenue North, Saint Paul, MN 55104
  • RSVP
  • Thursday, April 23rd, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Saint Paul Western District Police Station (Community Room)
  • 389 Hamline Avenue North, Saint Paul, MN 55104
  • RSVP

St. Louis Park*

  • Tuesday, April 28th, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • St. Louis Park City Hall (Council Chambers Room)
  • 5005 Minnetonka Boulevard, St. Louis Park, MN 55416
  • RSVP

Why do energy benchmarking

Benefits of an energy efficiency ordinance

Buildings use 40% of all energy consumed in the United States. That’s a huge opportunity for energy savings. Cities have started requiring large buildings to record their energy use each year. Buildings must also report the data publicly.

Save energy and money

An energy efficiency policy helps building owners find ways to save energy. This saves money in utility costs. It also creates demand for energy efficiency in the property market.

Inform local policy

Energy data reported to local government can inform policy and programs. Cities can then target known efficiency issues.

Create local jobs

As building owners look for ways to save energy they may hire professionals to help. These can include engineers, contractors, energy auditors and construction workers.

Recognize efficiency

Energy efficient buildings are gaining importance in the property market. Energy reporting draws positive attention to energy efficient buildings.

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