OP 5: Building Energy Efficiency – version 2.2
Data Accuracy Video
Frequently Asked Questions
How has this credit changed from STARS 2.1 to 2.2?
Substantive changes have been made to this credit. Some of these changes include renaming the credit to more clearly communicate its intent. Electricity units are now requested in kilowatt-hours to help minimize data entry and conversion errors. Source-site ratios were updated to be consistent with US EPA Portfolio Manager. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the 2.2 Summary of changes.
What source-site ratio should we use?
- Institutions in the US should use 3.0, institutions in Canada should use 2.0, institutions in Europe should use 2.0, and institutions in all other countries should report 2.5. See the 2.2 credit language linked above for additional guidance.
Are we required to report data for this credit in certain units?
- Electricity figures must be reported in kilowatt-hours. All other figures (stationary fuels and thermal energy) must be converted to MMBtu. An Energy Consumption Calculator is provided.
Can we include energy produced through cogeneration?
Institutions that convert fuel on-site (e.g., on-campus cogeneration facilities and boilers) should report only the amount of fuel purchased/converted toward the total energy consumption figure, not the resulting heat, steam, hot/chilled water or electricity.
Where do we report heat from solar thermal, geothermal, and other technologies?
Like cogeneration, the benefits of these technologies are recognized indirectly in terms of efficiency gains (i.e., the fuel consumption avoided to achieve the same result). Therefore, thermal energy of this type should not be included in the reported figures.
How do we determine our heating and cooling degree days?
Are there there other credits that ask for the same information?
Gross floor area and energy intensive space reported in this credit is typically consistent with the figures reported under Operational Characteristics (PRE 4). A lower number may be reported under this credit if outdoor energy from parking garages/stadiums, etc is metered separately and excluded under this credit and not others. Valid discrepancies should be clarified in the Notes field (for instance, if a different performance year or data source was used). See related Help Center article on sharing information between credits.
The performance threshold included the Technical Manual for institutions reporting in metric (SI) units should be 1259.346 Btu per square metre per Celsius degree day to match the formulas used in the Reporting Tool. This error will be corrected in the next Administrative Update to the Technical Manual.
Templates & Tools
- The difference between source and site energy (US EPA)
- Portfolio Manager Technical Reference: Source Energy – U.S. EPA
- STARS 2.2 Energy Consumption Calculator: Download Excel file or copy Google Sheet
- DegreeDays.net (global data)
- Degree Days Calculator – Portfolio Manager (U.S. and Canada)
- California State University, San Bernardino – Good reporting example of an institution that is establishing a baseline with its first report, by applying the same baseline and performance year and consumption figures.
- Florida Gulf Coast University – Good reporting example of an institution that reports not using any stationary fuels. Clarification on building space that was not included can be found in the Notes field.
- University of New Hampshire – The Notes field includes clarification as to why grid-purchased energy dropped significantly while energy from stationary fuels increased (conversion to co-generation).
- University of Waterloo – A detailed explanation of COVID-related discrepancies and impacts on energy use is included in the Notes field.
Common Issues Identified During Review
- Score outlier: Uncommon for institutions to earn full points or very close to it. If a high score is reported, check closely for the issues below (particularly numeric outliers).
- Numeric outlier: Zero or very low response under “Stationary fuels and other energy products used on-site” is highly unlikely, since most institutions use natural gas, fuel oil, diesel, or coal for heating or other non-transportation purposes. A response of zero or other very low response should include clarification in the Notes field, including affirmation that the institution uses no/very little fuels for heating.
- Numeric outlier: Low responses under Heating degree days and Cooling degree days. Typical responses in both figures are in the thousands, but responses for institutions in very mild, warm or cool climates may be in the hundreds or even zero if heating/cooling isn’t needed.
- Site-source ratio: U.S. and Canadian institutions must use the ratios reported in the Technical Manual (3.0 and 2.0 respectively). Institutions in other countries can report their own national/regional figures if they differ from what is recommended in the Technical Manual.
- Data consistency: Total energy consumption figures between OP 5 and OP 6 should match. Valid discrepancies must be clarified in the Notes field.
- Data consistency: Gross floor area and Energy-intensive building space figures between OP 5 and PRE 4 should be equal. Figures in OP 5 can be slightly lower if outdoor energy from parking garages/stadiums, etc is metered separately and excluded under OP 5. Valid discrepancies should be clarified in the Notes field.