Tool allows building owners to track energy savings

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an average of 30 percent of energy used in commercial buildings goes to waste.

Officials believe reducing those losses represents the best opportunity for "immediate and cost-effective reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions." The EPA's Portfolio Manager is an available tool building owners can use to monitor energy use in buildings and savings should they install energy efficiency retrofits, such as lighting, variable frequency drives and other measures.

Its compare and contrast features allow the performance comparison of similar structures and the ability to set baselines and establish goals. Progress can be tracked over time. The tool enables the building manager to document reductions in energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and costs in a single building or entire portfolio.