ENERGY STAR for Tenants: An Online Energy Estimation Tool for Commercial Office Building Tenants

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The commercial building sector consumes over 18% of the total energy in the United States. According to the 2012 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), office buildings comprise nearly 16 billion square feet of floor space and consume 253 billion kWh of energy annually. Office buildings represent nearly one-fifth of the energy consumed by commercial buildings, more than any other building type. Therefore, monitoring and reducing energy consumption in office buildings has become an increasingly important focus across the United States. The goal of the ENERGY STAR for Tenants program is to recognize office building tenants who demonstrate commitment to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Tenants seeking recognition must complete five major steps: estimate energy use, meter energy use, use efficient lighting, use efficient equipment, and share data. NREL is responsible for the underlying analysis performed for step one, estimating energy use. An online survey was developed for tenants to input information about their office space and its internal loads. NREL performed a parametric analysis across a large parameter space of office buildings. The analysis results were processed to map the user inputs to output energy ranges. The mappings enable the web tool to provide users with instant energy usage estimates based on a limited number of inputs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages52
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-74478


  • buildings
  • commercial building
  • energy
  • office
  • tenant


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