Second Annual Issuance Provides Year Over Year Comparison of Building Energy Rating Guide (BERG) Scores

Energy management company FS Energy today announced the second issuance of Energy Report Cards for more than 450 New York City residential properties managed by Cooper Square Realty, a FirstService Residential Management company. This initiative, the first of its kind in the United States, monitors and analyzes energy consumption in cooperative and condominium high rise buildings.

Given that this is the second year Energy Report Cards are being issued, building owners and associations are now able to compare their building’s past performance, year over year, while also gauging efficiency relative to hundreds of others in a database of monitored properties.

Provided free of charge to Cooper Square Realty clients, “Energy Report Cards include an annual potential savings model that enables clients to make informed decisions about the best methods for improving their building’s efficiency, rather than arbitrarily speculating about what might provide a good return on investment,” says David Kuperberg, CEO of FS Energy and Cooper Square Realty.

Energy Report Cards were developed using FS Energy’s proprietary benchmarking database which comprises over three years’ worth of historical energy usage, cost and typology information on more than 450 buildings. The FS Energy database is the only comprehensive database of residential properties that accurately measures energy efficiency based upon comparison to other buildings.

This benchmarking initiative is steps ahead of New York City’s Local Law 84 benchmarking initiative – which requires buildings over 50,000 sq. ft. to submit their energy and water usage annually – because the results are provided to buildings now. New York City is not expected to release this data until late 2013.

“The response to our Energy Report Cards has been overwhelmingly positive,” Kuperberg says. “Clients are beginning to realize that a well designed energy management initiative is not only environmentally beneficial, but can also positively impact property values and balance sheets. Our objective is to reduce energy costs and the carbon footprint of our New York City portfolio by 25% by 2013, and we are well on our way to reaching this goal.”

The result would be more than $30 million in savings and a reduction of carbon emissions by 111,000 metric tons. This is equivalent to taking 110 building offline or removing 21,600 cars from the road.

A key aspect of the Energy Report Card is the Building Energy Rating Guide (BERG), a simplified energy score ranging from one to ten, which reflects a building’s standing within the database. FS Energy created the BERG to address the need for benchmarking and rating of residential properties. This rating system is comparable to Energy Star™ efficiency ratings for appliances.

“In order to improve something, you have to measure it first. The BERG eliminates guesswork and arms our clients with measured data and a roadmap so that they can implement the right energy management strategies for their buildings,” Kuperberg explains.

Energy Report Cards and BERG scores are issued annually to Cooper Square Realty’s portfolio of more than 450 managed properties, enabling tracking and measurement of a building’s energy reduction initiatives over time. The BERG score is designed to be dynamic, reflecting any energy consumption changes among buildings in the database. This ensures consistently accurate benchmarking year after year, even as industry trends and standards change.

FS Energy is currently working on more than 50 energy efficiency projects as it strives to innovate and drive positive change, both financial and environmental. In 2011, FS Energy clients saw their energy costs reduced by more than $11 million. Solutions can range from no- and low-cost initiatives to larger projects, such as oil-to-gas conversions, heating system replacements and installation of cogeneration systems.

In each case, the reduction of operating expenses and increase in property value provides boards and owners with both immediate and long-term savings. In addition, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will lead to a healthier living environment for residents as well as the surrounding community.