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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I correctly enter the billing dates into the REALpac Energy Normalization Database?

The most accurate result for the prorating of days to a one-year period comes by entering the billing dates into the REALpac Energy Normalization Database in a certain way. For example, the first two entries in Table 1, below, are meant to capture the month of January and the month of February. However, the formula embedded in the Database calculates the number of billing days as 30 and 27, instead of 31 and 28, for January and February respectively. This leads to a misrepresentation of the number of billing days captured in the measurement of energy consumption and will cause the prorating of the billing days and energy consumption to either overstate or understate the total energy used.



Table 2, above, gives an example of how best to enter the billing days into the REALpac Energy Normalization Database. The first entry (From dd-mm-yy) should be the last day of the last reading period as the energy used was from that last reading date to the new reading date.

Further discussion of how to correctly enter energy data into the Database is included in the REALpac Energy Normalization Methodology.

How do I enter yearly utility bill data into the REALpac Energy Normalization Database that is divided into periods that do not correspond to a normal month?

Not all utility bills are aligned with the exact calendar year, nor are all bills on a monthly cycle. Thus the user is to enter the energy data that best corresponds to the full 12-month year under review and enter each period’s energy data into the cell that best corresponds to the month of use. Any utility bill reading or metering period (not billing period) that begins after the 15th of the month should be entered as consumption for the following month. For example, the value of electricity use recorded on a utility bill that reports consumption from December 18th to January 16th would be entered into the cell in the row labelled "Jan” as would the start and end date of the reading period.

It is also important that data is entered in the first row and last row of each table completed in order for the imbedded formulas to give the desired results. For example, a building with natural gas use billed each quarter would enter the first quarter’s energy use into the row labelled "Jan”, the second and third quarters’ energy use in the rows that best approximate the period of use, and the fourth quarter’s energy use in the row labelled "Dec”.

Further discussion of how to correctly enter energy data into the Database is included in the REALpac Energy Normalization Methodology.

How do I correctly measure and enter my building’s Exterior Gross Area and Gross Floor Area into the REALpac Energy Normalization Database?

The Gross Floor Area (GFA) should be calculated as per the REALpac Energy Normalization Methodology, which is based on Exterior Gross Area (EGA) as measured using the BOMA standard "Gross Areas of a Building: Methods of Measurement” (ANSI/BOMA Z65.3 - 2009). This measurement of GFA is closely aligned with (but not the same as) the ENERGY STAR definition of gross floor area. Using a GFA measure that has been defined in a different way or using gross leasable/rentable area is incorrect for the REALpac Energy Normalization Database. The final value for a building’s ekWh/ft2/year can vary significantly with different measures of area, so this is one of the most significant data points in the Database and should be entered as accurately as possible.

In addition, it is important to know the difference between the EGA and the GFA (if both are entered into the Database). According to the REALpac Energy Normalization Methodology, this difference represents the parking area of the building. If this is the case, and if enclosed parking area is included in this difference, the area of the enclosed parking should also be entered in to the ‘High Intensity or Exceptional Energy Use Data’ section of the Database. If this is not the case, the building area measures should be checked referencing the REALpac Energy Normalization Methodology.


If you have additional questions that are not addressed above, or need further clarification around the REALpac Energy or Water Normalization Methodology, the Energy & Water Normalization Database, or the REALpac Energy & Water Benchmarking Survey, please contact Julia St. Michael, Director, Research & Sustainability, 416.642.2700 x237.


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Toronto, ON M5K 1H1 CANADA
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