In a previous blog post, I discussed the features of the new Energy Star Portfolio Manager, a free online tool for benchmarking your building’s energy usage. Recently a client introduced me to another online benchmarking tool called Wegowise. This client has been successfully using Wegowise for their multi-family buildings. They started using it before multi-family was included in Portfolio Manager, and continue to use it because they like the easy to use interface, the automated features and how their building’s energy usage is displayed in a simple way that is easy to understand/analyze.
A relatively new company, Wegowise has the capability to benchmark multi-family buildings. With their extensive database of approximately 20,000 multi-family properties (still growing), Wegowise can compare your multi-family building energy usage to others. This building type did not exist in Portfolio Manager until relatively recently, and is still not eligible for an energy star score. Wegowise is capable of benchmarking all other building types as well. It corresponds behind the scenes with Portfolio Manager to provide you with an Energy Star score and uses the same energy survey references (Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey [CBECS]).
Similarities and Differences between Portfolio Manager and Wegowise
Similar to Portfolio Manager, Wegowise can be fully automated to do all of your utility data entry each month. It has a very intuitive set-up for seeing how your portfolio is doing as a whole, as well as at the building level. Plus, the user can still obtain an Energy Star score and can easily share their Wegowise account to other users and to Portfolio Manager if necessary. Wegowise will also keep their account holders up to date on energy spikes and abnormal energy usage with their buildings. When maintaining an account becomes tedious and time consuming, building owners may not be reviewing their data and truly using the tool to their advantage. Wegowise provides building owners with the useful information they want and need to know about their building’s energy usage. Although Wegowise does have a cost associated with it, the extra features that are not provided by Portfolio Manager can be worthwhile.
Here are a couple screen shots of what your buildings and portfolio will look like in Wegowise:
The premium version of Wegowise provides quarterly reports, which provide information on the following subjects: financial summaries, measurement and verification, property stability and building outlook. I believe this feature will make it easy for a busy building owner or manager to see a comprehensive summary of how their buildings are performing and to narrow in on which buildings need work. It also allows the building owner to track energy saving projects.
I have still not had an opportunity to use this tool to its full advantage and see how all of the features work, but I am looking forward to trying it out with future projects. If you’re a homeowner, I encourage you to create a single account for free to monitor your home’s energy usage.