ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager FAQ
Posted by Ryan Ohlson, Last modified by Joel Brickell on 14 December 2016 03:53 PM


For a comprehensive overview of the ENERGY STAR Workflow, from setup through submission and receipt of ratings, see the documents attached to this KB Article.  The file 'ENERGY STAR Workflow Diagram with Notes.pdf' contains a low resolution image of the diagram in the attached document 'ENERGY STAR Workflow.pdf' and also includes notes that correspond to the numbers in parentheses shown in the workflow diagram.


The following is a list of the most commonly asked questions about ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.


What is the URL that EnergyCAP uses to submit my data to ENERGY STAR?

The URL is and the content of the data being transmitted is JSON.

What if I move a meter from one building to another?

Both the building that the meter was at prior to the move (source) and the one it was moved to (target) will be refreshed when they are submitted.  The entire bill history of the meter will now be reflected as part of the target building and not the source building.

What happens if I click on the Reset Building button?

a) If you select Reset Building, EnergyCAP will delete all records of this building in Portfolio Manager and create an entirely new building based on the attributes, meters, and bill data in EnergyCAP today.  This will also delete any customizations or linkages you may have setup for that building.

b) You will lose any historical ratings for the building as well.

What period of time is my rating based on?  Can I choose the period I want to use for my rating?

Portfolio Manager forces us to request a rating for a specific period.  Therefore we will request a rating based on the following logic.  We look at all of the ACTIVE (checked to be included in ENERGY STAR) meters associated with the building.  For these active meters, we look for the MOST RECENT Bill Period where we have a bill for EACH OF THE ACTIVE METERS.  A rating is then requested that would include the 12 month period prior to the data of the most recent Bill Period.

How do we determine if we need to create a new PM account when a user submits their data?

a) In general, if you have submitted your data to Portfolio Manager from EnergyCAP once before, then we would not create another Portfolio Manager account.  Otherwise we would

b) Additional Technical details: A unique value is stored in the systemdata table inside the EnergyCAP database.  This key is compared to the values we have on our server that submits the data to ENERGY STAR to see if it already exists or if a new account request must be made when the data is submitted to ENERGY STAR,

How is adding/removing space types handled?

a) You can check/uncheck space types for a building through EnergyCAP Online.  We will submit the current state of the building each time the building is submitted.

b) If Portfolio Manager is not displaying the space types properly, use the Reset Building button in EnergyCAP to refresh Portfolio Manager.

Does EnergyCAP keep track of the version dates of the values I enter for building attributes?

a) No historical record of values is kept in EnergyCAP, however PM keeps track of the values and dates that have been submitted.

b) When we submit, if date for a building attribute is identical to what Portfolio Manager shows, then an update of the existing data in Portfolio Manager is performed.  But if the date does not match an existing date for that building attribute value, it is considered a new record and is inserted before or after (depending on the date) the current record in Portfolio Manager.  In this way the information with the most recent date becomes the current value in Portfolio Manager used for ratings.

How are overlapping bills handled? (Deregulated Accounts, Rebills)

a) ENERGY STAR currently does NOT SUPPORT overlapping bills (where the end date of a bill and the start date of another bill overlap).

b) For deregulated accounts where two or more accounts are associated with the same meter, EnergyCAP will combine the bills into a summary bill based on matching bill periods and submit that instead of multiple overlapping bills.

c) NOTE: EnergyCAP does not perform any summarization of Corrected bills that may overlap.   These will result in no ENERGY STAR rating and will return an error message.

Once I click Submit, how long will it take to get my ratings?

EnergyCAP submits client data to ENERGY STAR on an hourly basis.  Assuming that the data submited does not have any errors, you should be notified by email within two hours. It may take a little longer to process the first time you ever submit your data from EnergyCAP to Portfolio Manager.

What if ENERGY STAR changes their building attributes or space types?  How do I incorporate these updates in EnergyCAP?

On the ENERGY STAR submittal screen, if an update to the space attributes (called the ENERGY STAR schema) is available that is newer than what is currently installed in your EnergyCAP database, a button will appear to update it.  Following that update, you should take time to review all the buildings you have enabled for ENERGY STAR to verify that there are the correct values in the required fields.

How do I know what buildings have been submitted to PM? 

EnergyCAP reviews the buildings the user has selected to submit prior to sending the data to our server for later submittal to ENERGY STAR.  Only buildings that have all the required fields are submitted to the EnergyCAP server.  You can view a list of all the buildings that are eligible to submit from the ENERGY STAR submittal screen.  When you choose the option to select the buildings you want to submit, that list only contains those buildings that can be submitted to ENERGY STAR successfully.  Keep in mind that there could still be errors due to overlapping bills or other bill related issues.  This list is just informing you that all the required building attributes are present and you have new bill information (created or modified).

What would prevent a building from being submitted?

Not filling in a required field would prevent a building from being submitted to EnergyCAP's server.  However, there are very few space types with required fields.

Are there any ENERGY STAR property types that EnergyCAP cannot submit?

a) Portfolio Manager lists the property types that are eligible for a rating here 

b) EnergyCAP allows you to submit data for all of these types as well as the over 80 types that ENERGY STAR does not provide a rating for.

Why might my building not be receiving a rating?

a) To get a rating, at least 50% of your building needs to be a ratable space type.

b) All required fields must be filled in in order to receive a rating.

c) You probably need to have at least 13 months of bills to receive a rating so that ENERGY STAR gets at least 365 days of bill data.

 d) There cannot be any duplicate or overlapping bills (with the exception of deregulated accounts as identified by EnergyCAP).

Are there any important submittal rules I should be aware of?

a) When you select a building to be submitted, we will always send the building attributes each time we send data for that building.

b) In general, we will submit any new or modified bill data for buildings being submitted since the last date data was submitted for the building.  So if I submitted on Jan 1, 2013, and then I submit again on Feb 1, 2013, we will send along any bill data that has been created or modified since Jan 1, 2013.

c) For EnergyCAP clients who submitted to ENERGY STAR using the PREVIOUS version of Portfolio Manager, the first time we submit we will refresh the bill data.  The refresh includes the meters on the buildings and the entire bill history based on the meters that are on the building in EnergyCAP today.  After that first refresh, we follow the submittal rule outlined above.

d) First time submittals will cause an email to be sent to the email address located on the EnergyCAP ENERGY STAR submittal page.  The email will contain information on how to access the Portfolio Manager account we have created for the user.

In Portfolio Manager, what happens if I deny access to a building to EnergyCAP?

If you deny access you will no longer be able to submit data to your Portfolio Manager account from EnergyCAP.

How does EnergyCAP handle square footage?

The current square footage and effective date entered in the building properties is used to define the building total square footage.  The first identified space type will be assigned the entire building square footage.  If a building has more than one use type (for example, a courthouse with an attached police station), the square footage of each additional space type must be entered.  The additional space’s square footage will be subtracted from the total assigned to the first space type.  The total of all space types will always equal the building total square footage.

What happens if I edit my building or meter or bill data in Portfolio Manager?  Will the changes be synchronized with EnergyCAP?  Will I lose my changes when the building is next submitted?

Any changes made in Portfolio Manager will be lost when the building is next submitted from EnergyCAP.  No data is synchronized from Portfolio Manager to EnergyCAP.

I have an existing Portfolio Manager account.  Can I link it with EnergyCAP?

There is currently no method available to link an existing Portfolio Manager account to EnergyCAP or one that was created by EnergyCAP. 

What notifications should I expect to receive when I submit to ENERGY STAR through EnergyCAP?

a) You will get an email with information on activating your Portfolio Manager account when you submit to ENERGY STAR the very first time.

b) Each time you submit to ENERGY STAR an email will be sent to the address listed on the ENERGY STAR submittal page in EnergyCAP.  This email will contain notification that you can download your ratings and any error messages that were generated when you submitted.

Can I schedule EnergyCAP to submit my data to ENERGY STAR?

At present the only way to submit your data to ENERGY STAR is by clicking on the Submit button on the ENERGY STAR submittal page in EnergyCAP.

Can I use EnergyCAP Enterprise, or EnergyCAP Professional Desktop to manage my ENERGY STAR attributes or submit my data?

No.  Only EnergyCAP Online (beginning with version 3.1.5) is capable of managing and submitting your data to ENERGY STAR.

Why are some of the fields under my ENERGY STAR Ratings empty now?

Portfolio Manager changed what ratings attributes they return when they give a rating.  The ones that are now empty in the EnergyCAP display are no longer available via Portfolio Manager.

Where can I set the Occupancy Percentage for my building?

 At present there is no field to set the Occupancy Percentage for the building.  As a default, each building is submitted with an occupancy percentage of 100%. 


Written by Ryan Ohlson on Jan 21, 2014 Last Update: Oct 6, 2014

 energy star workflow diagram with notes.pdf (324.30 KB)
 energy star workflow.pdf (15.99 KB)
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