NJ Building Energy Benchmarking

NJ Building Energy Benchmarking Program : An Overview

New Jersey Building Energy Benchmarking: An Overview

Cotocon got many inquiries from its multifamily clientele across New Jersey recently. They were seeking clarity and assistance on NJ benchmarking. We strive to help property managers, board members, and residents who have been looking for guidance. And that’s because we’re a trusted resource. 

Some might be surprised to hear that if the building’s square footage equals or exceeds 25,000 SF, their communities may now be forced to benchmark the energy consumption of all of their buildings. Also, the most recent energy benchmarking regulations in the State of New Jersey, which might be relevant to your town, are the subject of this background information.

A Gist  

A building’s water and energy performance is compared to similar-purpose buildings through building benchmarking. The Portfolio Manager tool submits your monthly utility bills to a US Environmental Protection Agency database.  

With a score of 1 being the least efficient and 100 the most, the US EPA establishes a benchmark. It is possible to reduce operating expenses, draw in better tenants, and raise the building’s property value by benchmarking and monitoring its performance over time.

Types of Benchmarking In NJ

Two New Jersey benchmarking ordinance programs are available in New Jersey: one is free and optional for all other structures and will apply to commercial buildings greater than 25,000 square feet starting in the spring of 2023. 

The NJ Board of Public Utilities defines “commercial” as your building’s property tax assessment business class – Class-4A Commercial and Class-4C Apartments constitute the eligible classifications.


State tax categories determine the properties included under the program. Class 4A commercial structures, any property that generates money, and Class 4C flats intended for five or more families are covered properties. 

The energy benchmarking ordinance obligation does not include facilities that are categorized differently in the tax code, such as malls, retail centers, office buildings, theaters, restaurants, assisted living facilities, and industrial assets.

Non-Compliance Penalty

The benchmarking requirement in New Jersey does not permit the imposition of sanctions for non-compliance. Nevertheless, it makes compliance mandatory to participate in any other program, such as utility energy efficiency initiatives. 

The NJBPU will initially issue warning letters to covered structures that are not compliant. Buildings will have their non-compliance status entered into a building-level database by the NJBPU if they disobey by the warning letter date.

New Jersey Energy Benchmarking Purpose

Benchmarking is an essential tool for energy efficiency. It enables owners and operators of commercial buildings to quantify and examine their establishments’ water and energy consumption and assess how well they perform in relation to other buildings of the same kind. After that, facility owners and operators can evaluate chances for performance enhancements that lower energy consumption and expenses.

Long-term planning for future energy efficiency initiatives, such as improving building electrification or optimizing building standards, is made possible by benchmarking, which enables New Jersey to decrease energy use through the actions of building owners and operators.

The goal of NJ Benchmarking

The benchmarking program aims to accomplish three objectives:

  1. Gather information to help property owners understand how much energy their buildings use.
  2. Lower energy use and emissions at the building level.
  3. Offer a framework for creating workable statutory emissions reduction targets. 

In fact, benchmarking requirements were described as “the next crucial step toward establishing an optimal, statewide, energy-saving program which will assist us achieve Governor Murphy’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050” by former NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. 

By setting up a benchmarking system, we can track how much energy (gas and electricity) and water the largest buildings in the state consume and assist building owners in cutting back on their utilization of these resources as well as their operational expenses.

So, Is New Jersey Benchmarking Beneficial For Building Owners?

The building energy benchmarking program in New Jersey is an effective tool that helps owners of commercial buildings learn how much energy they consume and where they may make improvements. Using a free online tool, you may compare the energy performance of your building to that of similar buildings and get a score between 1 and 100, where 100 represents the most efficient building. 

You may identify energy-consuming places, rank the importance of renovations, and monitor your progress over time using this insights-driven method. The advantages are obvious: reduced running costs, higher property value, and the ability to draw in environmentally concerned renters. 

For structures under 25,000 square feet, benchmarking is free; beginning in 2023, larger projects must do so. Thus, New Jersey’s benchmarking program makes energy, cost, and environmental conservation easier than ever, regardless of the size of your organization—whether you’re running a little store or a massive office complex.

How To Comply

Own a New Jersey-based business property more than 25,000 square feet? How much energy do you use? The Garden State wants to know! Easily meet the new benchmarking standards set by the state with these tips:

  • Verify your insurance coverage:

Some types of buildings, such as shopping centers and restaurants, do not qualify; only Class 4A Commercial and Class 4C Apartment buildings with five or more units do.

  • Get your information:

Get your utility invoices from 2023, the prior year.

  • Proceed to the Portfolio Manager:

This US EPA tool is your key to benchmarking. Create a free account at Energy Star

  • Input your information:

Upload your utility bills and provide the information of your building. We may leave the rest to the system!

  • Find out your score

The Portfolio Manager assigns a number between 1 and 100, where 100 represents the highest efficiency. Check out your performance versus comparable structures!

  • Distribute your report:

Make it available to the public (optional) to encourage openness and draw in eco-aware tenants.

Bonus: Monitor your advancement! Annual benchmarking demonstrates your dedication to energy efficiency and helps pinpoint areas for improvement.

How Can the Cotocon Group Help

Is the Building Energy Benchmarking energy requirement in New Jersey too much to handle? The Cotocon Group can serve as your one-stop compliance resource. From obtaining building information to accurately completing reports via the EPA’s Portfolio Manager program, we handle the intricate legalities. 

Our professionals ensure your building stays out of trouble and meets all deadlines. Furthermore, we go above and beyond compliance by examining your benchmark score to find undiscovered chances for energy savings that will reduce your electricity costs and increase the value of your house. Let Cotocon handle compliance and open the door for long-lasting gains in energy efficiency.