San Francisco Department of the Environment

How to Comply with Benchmarking in San Francisco

Benchmarking is the process of tracking a building’s energy use, so you know how its performance compares to similar properties and understand how it’s performing over time. Each year you must send to SF Environment an “Annual Energy Benchmark Summary” to prove you’ve benchmarked your building.

The recommended approach is to obtain aggregated whole-building data, which is provided by PG&E’s Building Benchmarking Portal. PG&E’s How to Benchmark Your Building Guide using PG&E’s Building Benchmarking Portal  is a great resource for setting up an Energy Star Property Manager account and a PG&E Building Benchmarking Portal account.

Comply with the Annual Energy Benchmark Summary
If you have already set up an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account and all data is up to date please go to Step 5

How to complete an Annual Energy Benchmark Summary

Step 1: Create a building profile in PG&E’s Building Benchmarking Portal

Step 2: Create a building profile in Portfolio Manager

Step 3: Obtain and input energy data

Step 4: Identify your parcel(s)

Step 5: Open the Energy Benchmark Summary template

Step 6: Confirm your data is complete and accurate

Step 7: Send data to SF Environment

Step 1Create a building profile in PG&E’s Building Benchmarking Portal

Register an account in PG&E’s Building Benchmarking Portal, then log in and add your building.


Step 2: Create a building profile in Portfolio Manager

Register an account in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (Portfolio Manager), then log in and create a profile for your building. You must describe the entire building – all spaces and all energy meters. To comply, you must include all energy meters (common and tenant) and any energy generated on-site.

Step 3: Obtain and input energy data

After your Portfolio Manager account and building is set up, create new meters and input the monthly energy use data from your utility bills. For PG&E customers, there is an automated process to transfer the data for each of your meters. See instructions below. If you are a San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) customer, email [email protected].

Transfer PG&E Utility Data Automatically (Recommended)

With your permission, PG&E will electronically sync energy data with your Portfolio Manager account for free. This free data exchange service saves the trouble of entering your data by hand, and it is the most convenient way for a tenant to share energy use data. To set up PG&E Portfolio Manager Web Services, see: How to Benchmark Your Building Using PG&E's Building Benchmarking Portal (PDF).

Step 4: Identify your parcel(s)

Add the Assessor Parcel Number (APN – also known as the block/lot number) to Portfolio Manager’s "San Francisco Building ID" field for each of your buildings:

  • To look up Assessor Parcel Number(s), use the City’s Property Information Map (SF Planning)
  • To add APN(s) to the San Francisco Building ID field in Portfolio Manager (Energy Star):
    • Go to the My Portfolio tab and click on the property name.
    • In the secondary gray set of tabs, select Details.
    • In the second box on the left, Unique Identifiers (IDs), click Edit.
    • In the Standard IDs dropdown, select San Francisco Building ID.
    • Enter the Assessor Parcel Number(s) in the ID field. For example, the San Francisco Building ID for 1 South Van Ness Ave is: 3506/001.
    • If your building has multiple APNs, please enter all of them, separated with a space.
    • Click Save.

Step 5: Open the Energy Benchmark Summary template

An Annual Energy Benchmark Summary is required every year.

Option 1: Load a report template for the first time:

Option 2: Return to a template you've previously loaded:

  • Login to Portfolio Manager (Energy Star).
  • From “My Portfolio” click on the "Reporting" tab at the top.
  • Find the report that you want to generate, and in the "Action" dropdown, select "Respond to Data Request."

Step 6: Confirm your data is complete and accurate

  • Generate your report:
    • When you complete Step 5, you will land on the "Respond to Data Request" page.
    • In the "About Your Response" box, choose whose contact info you want to attach to your submittal for follow-up.
    • In the "Your Response" box, you will NOT be able to select the timeframe, as that is fixed for each year's Benchmark report.
    • Below the timeframe, choose which properties you wish to release data for.
    • Click the "Generate Response Preview" button.
  • Check your data:
    • Once the Response has been generated, on the "Reporting" page the report should be highlighted in green.
    • Portfolio Manager has a data quality checker that will alert you if information is not entered correctly or if the report is missing data. If there is an error, an alert box will appear on the Reporting Tab and an alert icon is included next to the affected data request. 
    • Please review the alerts by clicking “Read More” which will take you to a review page. Please fix all alerts.
    • Next, in the dropdown on the right, select "Download Preview in Excel" so you can check your data once more.
    • Open the downloaded file and check to make sure there are no issues in the Energy Alerts or Space Alerts fields. Submittals with these alerts will trigger follow-up from SF Environment, and delay approval.
    • Check other fields, like square footage, to make sure they are consistent with your records.
    • Confirm energy usage data is complete:
      • Step (A): Check for incorrect data
      • Step (B): Report & update incorrect data
      • Step (C): Confirm data & add parcel number
    • Once all alerts have been fixed and you have verified your data, generate an updated response in the Reporting tab.

Step 7: Send data to SF Environment

  • From the "Reporting" tab in Portfolio Manager, click the dropdown menu for the report whose data you have just verified, and select "Send Response."
  • Enter the necessary information on the following page and click "E-Sign Response."
  • Once you see the green check mark, click "Send Data," then "Continue" in the pop-up.
  • You will receive follow-up from SF Environment once we have reviewed your submittal. SF Environment will either indicate your report is complete or identify what is needed.


San Francisco

EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager


Existing Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance graphic
city seal png