The Minnesota Buildings, Benchmarks and Beyond (B3) database compares each building's energy use, normalized by historic weather data and building use information, to what it would be if built and operated to current code. It then ranks your city's buildings according to their energy performance so you can determine which buildings to target for cost-saving operational changes and improvements, and makes the argument for energy efficiency investments by calculating potential savings. 15% reductions (kBtu/sf/yr) in 4 years have been documented in B3 for public buildings.
View resources for new B3 users and new B3 functionality. Note that B3 can import ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager data either as a one-time process or on an ongoing basis, and for some cities/utilities automatic data transfer into your B3 account is available.
Consider bringing on a college student intern to prepare a city staff person to routinely enter energy billing information into the B3 web site. That intern would characterize each city building and clarify each meter that gets billed. For help in making arrangements contact your regional CERTs coordinator.
In 2019 the SW CERTs coordinator did a time study and found that total learning, set-up time and data entry for 2 years of data for one building took 7 hours (additional buildings took much less time) and regular upkeep, reports and analysis took staff about 5 hours annually.
Complete the Building Editor for each city-owned building; identify the person responsible for routinely entering data; enter current (at least once/90 days), consecutive monthly energy use data ongoing; also best to enter 12 consecutive months of historical energy use data; list municipally owned, publicly available electric vehicle charging stations on PlugShare/AFDC database.
Complete 1 Star criterion and enter 24 consecutive months of historical data; routinely validate newly entered data by looking at patterns/trends and inconsistencies; correct inaccurate entries and identify potential opportunities for energy savings; showcase your B3 public page/results on your city web site.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria, routinely ID energy-related operations and maintenance issues and poorer performing buildings for follow-up action; routinely enter current and consecutive (monthly or quarterly as available) water use data ongoing.
Who's doing it
Arlington - 3 star
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B3 Benchmarking data has been reported for city buildings. Data has been input for natural gas, electricity, water and sewer use for buildings since 2011 and is continuing to be updated regularly.
As a result of the findings, Lee Ortloff of PeopleService has enlisted the aid of MnTAP, to identify ways to lower operating costs through improved energy efficiency at the City's Waste Water Treatment Plant. This is a new Minnesota Department of Commerce, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and MnTAP project, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, aims to increase energy efficiency (E2) in Minnesota municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and scope opportunities for onsite power generation. The project will run through 2017. We are excited to see the savings as we update the B3 data.
Information has been entered for significant buildings. It is kept current quarterly with plans to print and distribute B3 reports to council & department heads. In addition, Riverland Community College has been entering data monthly since their 2007 baseline, and Austin Public Schools since 2006. An assessment of the energy saving opportunities in 3 of the city owned buildings was completed in 2014 by ICS Consulting, Inc. The Building and Lighting sub-committee reviewed the recommended improvements and reported to the Sustainability Taskforce on recommended actions. None of the actions were deemed viable at the time for the GESP but the city has moved forward with self-financing on some of the recommendations.
As of June 1, 2012,6 buildings use significantly less energy than other buildings of that type. A plan is being developed to deliver quarterly reports to city staff.
Angel Hoeffman with the City of Crookston has been gathering data quarterly and entering it into the B3 Benchmarking program for city owned buildings. These buildings include the Crookston Sports Center, Terminal, Water Treatment Plant, Valley Technology Park, City Hall, Fire hall, and the Library. Recording data started in December 2006 or when a building was constructed. In March 2015, data began to be recorded monthly for more accurate trending.
B3 data is entered for all municipal buildings and is kept current by the Finance department. Complete data exists for all facilities as far back as 2008. Trends and energy savings opportunities are reviewed and an annual summary is provided to the Energy and Environment Commission.
Environmental Engineer provides annual summary of trends and opportunities to Energy and Environment Commission in January.
Key Staff have access to B3 data and are encouraged to use the data in capital planning.
Annual energy cost, comparison to benchmark, MMBTU, CO2.
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa - 3 star
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FDL has been benchmarking energy use in FDL owned buildings in the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking Database since 2011.
In 2012, FDL partnered with Minnesota Power to conduct energy savings audits on commercial buildings.
In 2015, FDL partnered with Noresco to perform an energy savings audit on FDL owned buildings. Twenty buildings were identified as having the greatest need for energy conservation measures including water, lighting, boilers, controls, and air handling unit efficiency upgrades.
The Minnesota Power energy audit resulted in a 15% reduction in energy consumption.
Noresco upgrades save FDL $722,403 annually with a total payback period of about 6 years. This project alone can account for a 25% energy savings.
Benchmarking in the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking Database is continuing and will be used to guide future efficiency upgrades and energy decisions.
As of 2016, 10 years of energy use data has been entered for 20 City-owned buildings. Consecutive monthly energy use data for all 20 buildings is entered on a monthly basis by the public works administrative assistant. In 2006 the City conducted a facility analysis identifying features in public buildings that need to be updated or replaced, many of which would lead to increased energy efficiency if implemented. Trends and opportunities for energy savings are reviewed by staff and presented to the Environmental Commission on an annual basis.
Hopkins began entering data into the Minnesota B3 benchmarking database in 2009 and continually updates the Minnesota B3 database. The City then uses the information to assess energy efficiency in all city-owned buildings.
The City of Hutchinson tracks every meter owned by the City since Jan 2006. The B3 site is not as versatile for tracking every meter so we use an internal Excel spreadsheet to track, trend, and monitor each individual gas and electrical meter. B3 is used on an annual basis as a check for our internal data monitoring processes. Performance contracts have been used as a model to implement efficiency improvements (attached). We have also implemented a robust facility improvement plan to address capital needs that incorporated efficiency into the project prioritization criteria.
Significant improvements have been made largely due to the data that we have collected and analyzed. A variety of clearly definitive usage trends have been observed due to improvements that have been implemented. This has made asking for funding to support efficiency improvements easier when approaching elected officials. We have observed some double digit reductions in gas and electrical since the 2006 baseline was established. 2014 data showed the City wide reduction in kWh used equated to 20.5% reduction compared to the baseline.
As part of her MN GreenCorps service with the City of Lake Crystal, Joan Van Grinsven entered nearly 4 years of historical electrical and natural gas usage data for the 14 city owned buildings. Once all of this data was entered she checked for any inaccuracies, and fixed them. During her service time, she will be exploring ways to improve the worst performing buildings.
Joan Van Grinsven will be in charge of updating the data in a monthly basis, until her service term is over in August 2014. Before she is finished with her term, the city will train someone else to enter current data.
Using the B3 database allowed us to figure out which buildings the city should focus on improving. This turned out to be the city's recreation center and maintenance buildings. This program also allows us to notice if there are any spikes in utility usage within the water or power plants that should be addressed, even though these building types are not benchmarked.
Lakeville has been entering data into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking website monthly since 2010 with historical data going back to 2007. Trends for each building are reviewed periodically to gauge energy performance and look for ways to improve efficiency.
Leech Lake has benchmarked 68 Tribal-owned buildings with 148 total utility meters. Through B3 Benchmarking, savings potentials have been identified. These potentials have been identified for GESP and consulted on with the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
We have documented a minimum of 12 consecutive months of historical data into the B3 database for wastewater, drinking water, and energy use for city properties.
Moorhead's Sustainability Manager is responsible for routinely entering data on a monthly basis. Error entry for electricity usage has been avoided by creating an automation process in coordination with Information Technology, which automatically formulates a report in the necessary format directly from Moorhead Public Service Utility Bills.
Data has been entered from 2010 to present, and Pierz has received a 4-star rating for City Hall and a 5-star rating for the Fire Hall based on the benchmarks. Deputy Clerk Kari Tyson will continue to enter data once a month.
St. Cloud conducted a detailed assessment of all City facilities in 2004. In addition to determining existing conditions and future space needs, it includes energy recommendations. Also, the St. Cloud Area Sustainability Framework Plan includes Greenhouse Gas Reduction as a best practice area and an action to enter public building data into the MN B3 database and rank buildings in regard to energy performance. Benchmarking data will be entered in the MN B3 database beginning in June, 2011.
As of March 2017, 100% of the utility data has been entered into B3 for the 400+ citywide meters. This data is being used to develop annual energy reports for each department/facility. These reports will be used to identify potential energy efficiency opportunities and savings.
As of September 2018, meters have been maintained and B3 has been used to track all renewable energy use as well as track purchased energy use throughout the city.
The City is projected to have 80% of its energy purchases coming from, or accounted for by, renewable energy sources. This includes onsite solar energy production, onsite biofuel energy production, and subscriptions to community solar gardens.
The city has also used B3 to monitor its energy efficiency projects and target locations for energy efficiency savings.
Shakopee began entering electricity and gas consumption into the MN B3 Benchmarking website in 2016 with historical data going back to 2006, and recently updated our benchmarking to include water consumption. We will continue to monitor trends in these buildings and will look for ways we can improve our efficiency.
1-Star: Building Editor was completed for each active city-owned building in B3; Andrew Boucher, the City's GreenCorps member, is responsible for routinely entering data, but there was a CERTs Seed Grant received that will allow for an automated benchmarking program. Consecutive monthly energy use data is ongoing and there are at least 12 months of consecutive energy use data for each site.
2-Star: Completed 1 Star criterion and enter 24 consecutive months of historical data; newly entered data is validated and corrected by looking at patterns/trends and inconsistencies; after the city conducts building audits and its thermal imaging project, potential opportunities for energy savings will be identified.
A MN GreenCorps member serving with the city 2018-2019 updated the Winona B3 with electric and natural gas usage data from 2016 onwards for the majority of city buildings. B3 continues to be updated on a regular basis, and is now being used in making decisions about facility use.
Scoring of buildings entered in the B3 database. # of facilities that improved benchmark score.
Monthly Energy consumption at city building's is being monitored via the B3 database. The City worked with a GreenCorp Volunteer to enter historic utility data into the B3 system. Gary Novotny, the City Maintenance Supervisor, will continue using the B3 system to manage and track energy usage at City facilities.
Outcome measures/metrics: After having validated the data and correcting errors that existed the utility information reported in B3 is current for city buildings. Within the next month, the City will begin the process of analying B3 data to identify current energy saving opportunities with the help of a MN GreenCorp member, and GreenStep City building best practice advisors.
Entered B3 benchmarking data on Electricity and Natural gas usage for City Hall and Firestation dating back to 2014. Will continue to update monthly. Contracting with RETAP to perform an energy audit of both buildings
The City has 5 main government buildings and 3 liquor stores. All 5 main buildings are entered in the BM3 system with data entered as far back as 2007 for some buildings.
Data to be used for building capital improvement priorities and scheduling. Also to implement energy reduction procedures and changes during routine maintenance.
Note to PHillip--still gathering more info on projects completed.
B3 energy data has been entered for all public buildings and is continuously updated by city staff. Energy use from three utility companies has been entered for at least 24 months and some as far back as 4 years. Data will continue to be reviewed and utilized by city staff as needed. Staff utilizes the B3 Benchmarking information analysis, peer benchmarking and webinars to make best use of the data tracking.
In the fall of 2015, the City of Delano launched it's B3 initiative, and began to enter past utility data for City Buildings as well as streetlight infrastructure stretching back to 2013. Data was obtained from historic utility bills, and as of January 2016, all available data had been logged into B3.
City staff coordinated a process for routine entry of data on a 3-month interval, and data entry was completed by one of the City's administrative interns.
In the Spring of 2016, the City pursued a partnership with a local university, sharing B3 log-in data with economics students to advance analysis of energy consumption and cost with a focus on improving efficiency of 3 City-owned buildings and City-wide streetlight infrastructure.
The city has completed the building editor for each city-owned building. It has identified the person responsible for routinely entering data. And each property's billing history has been entered with greater than 24 months history for all properties now including the new water treatment facility (electric completed, gas now completed)
City staff inputs electric and gas utility data for city hall into the Minnesota B3 database each month as bills are processed. Data has been entered dating back to January 2007 (over four years of data).
This tool has allowed us to track electric and gas usage over a multi-year period. This is especially useful as we evaluate the effectiveness of a lighting retrofit project that was completed in 2010 & 2012.
Grand Rapids Public Library began using B-3
Benchmarking in Feb. 2010. As of 12/5/2012 The City of Grand Rapids has implemented B3 benchmarking on five additional city buildings. These six buildings are the six main buildings owned by the City of Grand Rapids. At least three years of data has been entered for each building. Data will continually be monitored and modifications will be made to improve building efficency when possible.
Isanti recently updated data in the B3 Benchmarking website from 2007 up to the current date for each city owned building. The Finance Department is responsible for updating the website monthly as the utility bills are received.
Isanti's newly formed GreenStep Committee will analyze the data and make recommendations on changes that need to be made.
The City of Jordan has entered all available electricity and natural gas usage since 2015 into Minnesota’s B3 benchmarking software. This will allow a baseline for analysis on building efficiency in the future. The city has several new or newly renovated structures that it will be analyzing for efficiency after they produce enough data to develop a baseline.
There has been no way to catalogue city water usage as the city has not physically read its own meters for water usage. In 2017, Jordan began outfitting of all city structures with meters that can be read electronically at City Hall. That information will be entered into B3 moving forward.
Data will be continually entered by the city’s yearly planning department intern at the direction of Jordan’s city planner.
With new and continued entries into the B3 benchmarking system, a baseline will be established with which to judge Jordan’s municipal building performance from an energy and water use standpoint.
The City of La Crescent current tracks all energy usage for the city through the B3 Benchmarking program. At least 12 months of consecutive data has been entered and this will be routinely monitored and used for understanding the city's energy usage and how to improve.
In 2008,the energy costs for city hall were $1637.32. In the summer of 2009 we insulated the ceilings and improved the efficiency of the furnace. In 2009 the energy costs for city hall were $1,367.26. In the summer of 2010, we added insulation, siding and doors to the wall structure. The energy costs in 2010 were 837.10. In 2011 were 913.42. our energy information is being recorded on the B-3 worksheet to tabulate and document energy savings automatically.
For more information contact:
Partners: Sarah Steinman@cleanenenergyresources.org
The City of Maplewood has been part of the Minnesota B3 program since 2008 and has continually entered monthly energy use from City owned buildings. This allows the City to monitor its buildings energy use, improve building efficiency, and monitor the effectiveness of energy improvements. The City also utilizes B3 to track the amount of renewable energy produced by the solar panels installed in front of City Hall and on top of the Community Center. The process for implementing the B3 data is as follows: Finance Department pays energy bill and places bill in Laserfische. Community Development Department downloads energy bill from Laserfische and imputs data into B3. Community Development Department tracks data and uses data to plan energy efficiency improvements and for educational purposes.
Utility information for the City of Marshall and Marshall School District buildings has been entered into the B3 database dating back to 2007 and continues to be entered in on a regular basis.
Energy usage and utility costs are tracked and compared to benchmark data to validate energy efficiency improvement savings. Under performing buildings are targeted for additional savings opportunities.
Through the city’s partnership with Class 5 Energy, Minnetonka has entered energy data into the B3 Benchmarking program for city owned buildings. These buildings include City Hall/ Community Center/ Police Station; Central Fire; Satellite Fire Stations 2-5; Public Works; Williston Center and the Ice Arena. Data has been entered for the city’s core buildings since 2013. Data for the satellite fire stations has been entered beginning in 2015. Minnetonka will continue entering data on a monthly basis.
City staff has entered electric and gas usage data from 2008 to present in the B3 database for the following facilities: City Hall, Golf Course (including Golf Course irrigation pump), Ice Arena, Pool, and Public Works.
The city has 6+ year's worth of up to date data entered into B3 for all city buildings over 5000 square feet (excluding the water treatment plants), starting in either the beginning of January 2006 or the end of December 2005 until now.
The city of Richfield collects data on 10 city-owned buildings annually. These buildings are Public Works, Ice Arena, Penn Liquor, Wood Lake Nature Center, Cedar Liquor, the Community Center, Fire Station #2, Lyndale Liquor, the Water Plant, and City Hall/Fire Station #1. Data is current as of February 2018 with 3-9 years of consecutive data, depending on individual utilities.
B3 data is up to date for all City-owned buildings. As of November 21st, 2011, all buildings have at least 36 months of data (most have 60 months). The City is continuing to update monthly energy consumption data.
8 buildings benchmarked.
~60 months of data for each building.
The City of Saint Louis Park has B3 billing information for many buildings dating back to 2007 uninterrupted to the present. For newer buildings, there's B3 billing information dating to 2012 which is uninterruped to present. Both City staff and Minnesota GreenCorps members work to maintain the B3 page.
The City has entered all of the 2014 energy usage for the City's Buildings, Park Shelters, and Lift Stations. The Executive Assistant will be entering in the data on a quarterly basis. The City will continue to track the energy usage for the City looking for possible energy savings.
2014 Data has been entered into the B3 site.
The only error in the report comes from the New City Hall building, which we moved into in Januray 2015. There have not been enough energy bills to calculate energy use yet.
Complete information for all city-owned buildings has been entered into B3 Building Editor. Monthly energy use data is entered by White Bear Lake staff. All buildings have 24 consecutive months of historical data. The City has been reviewing energy use data on a quarterly basis with all building leads, and uses information to determine if building specific changes need to be made.
Woodbury has entered data into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database for all of its buildings. Some buildings have data back to 2002. City staff update the database monthly. The city uses the information to compare energy efficiency for all city-owned buildings.
All City-owned building information has been entered into the B3 Benchmarking database and available utility data from the last 12 months has been entered. The City of Albert Lea will continue to update the database on a monthly basis.
Monthly energy and water use data for City Hall has been entered into the B3 Benchmarking database from the last 12 months. The City will continue to update energy and water use data on a regular basis.
Building descriptions and background information for seven city facilities (i.e. ambulance facility, WWTP, City hall, fire station, library, police station, and public works facility) have been entered into the B3 Benchmarking database. Monthly water use and energy data has been collated and will be entered shortly.
Monthly Energy consumption at City building being monitored via the B3 database beginning in May 2011; particularly at buildings that received retrofits from Federal Energy grant. The City worked with the MPCA and a GreenCorp Volunteer to enter historic utility data into the B3 system. City staff will continue using the B3 system to manage and track energy usage at City facilities.
After having validated the data and correcting errors that existed the utility information reported in B3 is current for city buildings.
Data suggests a decrease in energy consumption for five buildings and an increase in four buildings from the established baseline. Decrease is directly related to retrofits to some of the buildings and additional study and action is planned for the four underperforming buildings. Not all of the suggested energy enhancements identified in the initial energy audit were implemented, therefore a strategic plan is being developed to address the remaining projects so that improvements can be budgeted and implemented over the next 5 years.
B3 data has been fully updated and tracked monthly to identify trends and/or inconsistencies in buildings that need to be addressed. The building retrofits have all been reflected in B3 reporting to track their effectiveness.
Next steps will consist of continuing to track data, budget for improvements that could be included in the planning for the 2013 budget, continue to work with utility companies to define ways to be more energy efficient, and educate staff in each building to enhance energy savings.
We currently have eight municipal buildings for which we enter and track electric and heat data: City Hall, Public Utilities Building, Police Department, Fire Department, Library, Liquor Store, Ice Arena, and our Waste Water Treatment Plant.
We occassionally review the infomation to catch variances and to monitor overall trends. Occassionally changes/upgrades are made and we observe the data to monitor expected reductions in energy usage.
Benchmarking data was entered for the three city buildings: city hall, fire station, and public works buildings. (The Public Works Garage/Office was the old public works building. Part of the old building is still there and is being used for cold storage)
All benchmark data has been entered in the B3 database. We have 2013-2016 meter readings for each building and previous data for 3 of the 4 buildings in the early 2000's. With the gaps in meter readings from 2004-2013 staff is looking to pull data from Xcel and City files to have a longer range of readings/
The B3 data will continue to be updated and the benefit any improvements can be tracked. The reduction of energy (gas/electric) will support future lighting, HVAC, and energy wise projects.
Monthly Energy consumption at City buildings being monitored via the B3 database beginning in January 2011. City staff will continue using the B3 system to manage and track energy usage at City facilities.
Data suggests an increase in energy consumption in five of the six buildings from the established baseline. City staff will work to identify the reason for the increase and establish a plan to decrease the consumption.
Through the Class 5 Energy (C5E) pilot the City of Northfield has been selected to partake in, C5E has input our energy bills into the B3 program for the Liquor Store, City Hall, WWTP, Arena, Library, and Pool. They have also input all our data into the Energy Star website.
We will be actively be comparing the baselines in the B3 database to the City's baselines once the pilot becomes more mature.
Rochester now has roughly two years or more of data entered into the B3 system for all the City owned buildings utilities including steam, electrical, and gas. The planning Intern entered in all the data up to current. The City Finance department will then take on the role of entering in the monthly data for the future.
The City of Saint Paul routinely enters its energy data into Archibus for City owned buildings, and uses that data to determine which buildings are in need of improvements. The City has submitted paperwork to the Weidt Group and Xcel Energy to be part of pilot program take consumption data from Xcel Energy and transfers it automatically into B3. 4/30/16
The City of Saint Paul is currently working with Xcel Energy to download energy data from 2006 into the City's energy database. We anticipate this data will be directly transferable to the B3 database. Currently there are over 84 sites and 176 meters that are part of the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database. 9/24/14
South St. Paul has recently updated energy and natural gas usage into Minnesota’s B3 benchmarking software for the City's public buildings. There has been no way to catalog city water usage as the city has not physically read its own meters for water usage. The Community Development Support Specialist is responsible for updating the website monthly as utility billing is received.
2019 Update: Energy and water use data have been entered through mid 2019. Issues with missing meter readings are being addressed with the utility provider to remedy gaps in the data. IT is also in the process of creating a program that will allow for easier data uploads in the future by extracting pertinent information from the energy spreadsheet provided by the utility company and a placing it on the upload template provided by B3. This will facilitate continued updates by the Energy Coordinator.
STATUS – 2008 baseline data and years 2009-2012 energy data has been entered for 38 buildings greater than 5,000 square feet.
The City of Mounds View has two existing facilities in B3 Benchmarking, City Hall and the Mounds View Community Center. Currently, a new Public Works Facility is under construction and will be added to B3 once that work is concluded.
Saint Peter has launched and started entering data into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking website. This will continue on a monthly basis as trends will be reviewed periodically to gauge performance and improve efficiency.