Energy Star frequently asked questions

Six frequently asked questions concerning the EPA's Energy Star Program and Portfolio Manger are addressed.


Q: Are all building types eligible to benchmark in Portfolio Manager? Can all building types receive the Energy Star Label?

A: Currently, over 50% of U.S. commercial buildings are eligible to obtain the 1 to 100 energy performance score by benchmarking in Portfolio Manager. For more information, see These building are also eligible to apply for the Energy Star Label if they achieve scores of 75 or higher. Those properties that cannot obtain a 1 to 100 score are still encouraged to benchmark in Portfolio Manager, where they will be able to measure and track improvements in weather-normalized energy use intensity, monitor energy costs, and account for greenhouse gas emissions related to energy consumption.

Q: How does EPA verify the accuracy of labeled building applications?

A: The energy use, operating characteristics, and indoor environment of a commercial building must be independently verified by a licensed professional engineer (PE) for a building to earn the Energy Star Label. For more information, see

Q: Can an organization use a PE on staff to validate the Statement of Energy Performance for a label application?

A: Yes, the PE can be on staff or from an independent firm. For further information, see the Professional Engineer’s Guide to the Energy Star Label for Commercial Buildings at

Q: Is a PE the only person who can validate Statements of Energy Performance?

A: Effective April 1, 2010, a registered architect can perform the verification required for the Energy Star Label application.

Q: Can buildings outside of the United States benchmark in Portfolio Manager?

A: Non-U.S. buildings are encouraged to benchmark in Portfolio Manager, and the tool will be able to conduct weather normalization based on the nearest major city. However, buildings located outside of the United States cannot earn the Energy Star unless they are owned and occupied by the U.S. government and that have met U.S. construction codes.

Q: Are buildings required to benchmark in the United States?

A: State and local governments across the country are adopting policies that leverage Energy Star tools, through both legislative and voluntary channels. See for more information.

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