Almost three years ago, Jones Lang LaSalle’s property management group reached 100 percent participation in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, the EPA’s highly regarded system for benchmarking energy performance in commercial property. When every office building in our U.S. portfolio was enrolled, we confirmed two things that we had already suspected.
First, our engineers had done a superior job at energy management, as shown by an average ENERGY STAR score of 67 – about 17 percent better than the industry average. Second, we learned that buildings enrolled in ENERGY STAR had higher average scores that those newly added to the system. In fact, buildings with an ENERGY STAR history of at least 48 months averaged a 74 score, seven points higher than the portfolio as a whole.
This news didn’t surprise us. Knowing where you rank in any endeavor makes you want to do better, and when the ranking translates to dollar savings and carbon reduction, the motivation to improve is even stronger.
So where are we now that our entire portfolio has participated in ENERGY STAR for nearly three years? When we checked the figures last fall, we had achieved an average score of 74 on 900 buildings totaling about 150 million square feet. At year-end 2011, the average had crept up to 75, the level at which buildings are eligible for an ENERGY STAR label. And at mid-year 2012 we were up another point, for an average score of 76 – an indication that we are performing better than 75% of the buildings in the market.
Did I mention that Portfolio Manager is free to use, and requires no specialized knowledge beyond what any property manager possesses? Given the increasing focus on energy and sustainability in leasing decisions, it’s a mystery to me why any owner would not want to know how his or her building stacks up against the competition.