There’s not a single solution, but CHF BC believes understanding energy use and preparing for change is the first step.

CHF BC’s Planning & Renewal team is doing its part by helping housing co-ops track energy use using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Reach out to to get started!

Benchmarking Benefits

Benchmarking can help with asset management planning, support applications for government support, and assist with reporting goals.

Why track and compare your co-op’s energy use? The information helps you understand how your co-op is doing. This helps make better decisions and a case for change, whether you’re looking at potentially upgrading how you operate or wanting to show off the successes you’ve already had.

  • Track recent energy use, including three years of historical data.
  • Compare your use of energy with similar properties. This is referred to as benchmarking.
  • Set targets for energy use reduction to help meet your co-ops sustainability goals.
  • See the impacts on energy use from policy changes, co-op initiatives, and building upgrades.
  • Report on energy consumption and long-term goal. This includes action plans under the Federal Community Housing Initiative.

There are also incentives available to co-ops that pursue benchmarking programs.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is a free, interactive tool, widely used across Canada and the United States to track energy use.

ENERGY STAR is a US government-backed program run by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. It focuses on energy efficiency and strives to provide information that consumers and businesses can use to make informed decisions.

It’s probably best known for its voluntary labelling program for consumer goods, but it also operates Portfolio Manager, an online energy tracking and benchmarking tool for businesses, commercial and industrial buildings, and multi-family housing.

The Energy Star Score is a measure of how well a property is performing relative to similar properties. Scores are based on data from national surveys on building energy use and range from 1 to 100, with 100 representing the best performers and 50 indicating the national median. Scores account for difference in size, location, and operational conditions.


CHF BC and Vancity have partnered on an initiative that offers incentives for benchmarking participation. If your non-profit housing co-op is a Vancity member, it may be eligible for up to $500!

  • $100 for eligible participants which have or obtain digital building plans
  • $200 for eligible participants that register for Energy Star Portfolio Manager access through CHF BC
  • $200 if your co-op qualifies for automatic utility data uploads

Existing ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager participants are also eligible for the incentive.  Eligibility for the incentives vary but all require Vancity membership.

Talk with us for incentive details and to see what’s possible!

Eligible co-ops that submit required paperwork and documentation to complete benchmarking setup by June 30, 2024 can receive their incentive payment this summer*.

*Disclaimer: Co-ops that meet the minimum requirements for energy benchmarking can participate even if they are not eligible for the CHF BC-Vancity incentive. To receive incentive payments, co-ops must be eligible for both energy benchmarking and the CHF BC-Vancity ESPM Support Program, as well as complete one or more steps required to qualify for the incentive. CHF BC cannot guarantee a set timeline for co-op receipt of incentive funds; a range of factors can impact set up of benchmarking, even where necessary information is available, including but not limited to changes made by utility providers, updates to the EnergyStar Portfolio Manager platform, complexities with co-op properties, and technical issues.

How CHF BC Can Help

CHF BC helps co-ops set up an ENERGY STAR profile and link utility accounts to the tracking platform. It's voluntary and it’s easy. Even better, it's FREE!

CHF BC can work together with your co-op to complete a couple of utility company forms and enter property information into the system (e.g. gross floor area, type of parking structure, common buildings, whether there’s on-site daycare, etc.). Once the basics are in place, utilities (BC Hydro or FortisBC) can automatically upload aggregated property data to Portfolio Manager.

In most cases, we only need co-op authorization and a few recent utility bills to get started. Since all the information is blended, data from individual homes remains anonymous.

Have questions? Reach out to our Energy Benchmarking team.

What Will You Learn?

What you learn will depend a little on how ambitious your co-op is.

Basic information relates to energy use will be tracked, and you can also enter other information related to water use and waste tracking. Once setup is complete, Portfolio Manager can provide the following:

  • Summary of performance and emissions, based on baseline and current figures
  • Energy use by calendar month for electric and natural gas
  • Data visualizations and graphics
  • Projected energy use per square metre (Energy Use Intensity, or EUI) and other metrics that can be compared to similar co-ops
  • View baseline energy use figures and set targets for energy reduction

This is a general list of information available through Portfolio Manager. Actual data and performance of the platform may vary based on provided and available information.

Note: CHF BC is not currently able to help with manual entry of utility, water or waste data.


Most co-ops will be eligible for the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Interested housing co-ops should meet these requirements:

  • Operate apartment and/or townhouse buildings (multi-unit residential buildings)
  • Have a minimum of 10 residential units
  • Be located in the province of British Columbia
  • Be a customer of BC Hydro and/or FortisBC

Additional restrictions may apply based on a co-op’s utility company and/or municipality. CHF BC can only assist co-ops that are members of the federation.

Data Privacy

CHF BC, ENERGY STAR®, and co-op organizations cannot see see or access individuals’ energy use (consumption) data.

Energy use data for individual households remains anonymous because consumption for the whole property is grouped—or aggregated—together.

Here are some additional privacy resources: