Inverness Associates
Supporting schools in sustainability, strategic planning, governance, and leadership mentoring.

Discovering Energy Star Portfolio Manager

For years I have recommended that schools use the EPA Portfolio Manager to establish baseline data on energy and water use and to benchmark their performance.  This spring I conducted the analysis for a church in Berkeley CA in order to learn the details of how to use this instrument.  The article below provides a snapshot of the findings and the impact.  For more information on Energy Star, visit


First Church Awarded an Energy Star

The Green Team is glad to announce that First Congregational Church of Berkeley has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification.  Our building performs at least in the top 25 percent of churches nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.  FCCB scored 88 of 100 points on the EPA’s ENERGY STAR energy performance scale; a score a 75 or higher is required. First Church is one of 59 churches nationwide, and one of only three in California, to become Energy star. The recognition is part our multi-year effort to make FCCB a model green church.

EPA’s ENERGY STAR buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. According to the EPA, our building’s efficient operation means we are annually saving the equivalent of burning 12,439 gallons of gas, or 112,963 lbs. of coal. ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.

The Green Team conducted its analysis of FCCB energy and water use with the EPA Portfolio Manager, which has established a baseline for an annual assessment of our performance.  With the installation of our 95 panel 22.9 kW solar system this fall, we will become even more energy efficient.  This award is another step on the path to meeting our Paris Pledge to reduce our energy use 50% by 2030.  We are well on the way!