Benchmarking Energy Use in State Facilities

In April 2014, Governor Steve Bullock directed state agencies to begin monitoring energy use in state buildings and to begin publicly disclosing these energy numbers online. This directive by the Governor is part of a larger commitment to smart energy use and consumption, the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation in Montana, as well as a more transparent state government. As part of the Governor’s directive, the energy office at DEQ has developed a database for energy use at state facilities. The database includes over 160 facilities, including campuses, representing over 400 buildings. The common requirement for the database is any state-owned building that is 5,000 square feet or larger. The facilities included in this database total over 19 million square feet of building area.

Natural gas and electricity data is provided by the utilities and entered into a database maintained by DEQ. Data is exported to US DOE’s EnergyStar® Portfolio Manager® which calculates the energy performance of the facility. Energy Star® scores are provided for facilities that qualify for the rating. Some factors that may affect these scores (e.g. occupancy, number of computers, hours of operation) are estimated, but should have little effect on the overall comparison for benchmarking an individual facility. To view a building report, click on the agency below and then click on the building you wish to view. The report is designed to present summary information for up to four reporting periods. All data fields are from the Energy Star® Portfolio Manager® reports. For further information on the reports, please view the Report Explanation. If you would like a report on a specific state building and cannot find it below, please contact the Montana Energy Office at 406-444-0281.

More on how DEQ will use this information to improve energy efficiency in state buildings 

DEQ's State Building Energy Conservation Program improves state facilities at no additional cost to state government. It does this by using an agency’s utility budget to fund energy improvements over time. First, a project is identified that can reduce energy costs in a facility. A technical energy study is then completed and future energy savings calculated. Savings are typically from reduced electricity and natural gas use, but may include water, propane or other utility costs.

The process of benchmarking assists program managers in identifying buildings and facilities that underperform from an energy-use standpoint. This selection process allows for the best and often-times the earliest return against the investment.

Projects are designed so that energy savings cover all financing. The DEQ funds construction and improvements for projects that provide energy savings over a baseline energy consumption level. The energy savings over the term of the project is used to pay for the project investment. This forms a revolving fund where savings are collected over time, which are then used to fund further energy projects.

The State Building Energy Conservation Program dates to the 1989 Legislature and addresses operating costs in state facilities by identifying and funding cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.  The statutory authority is under Title 90, Chapter 4, part 6, MCA.