Energy Assessment & Benchmarking

Get Started Saving Energy!

Whether you're a resident, business, or other organization, your building is unique and you can benefit from expert guidance about where to start making energy-saving improvements.

  1. Get informed: Log into your utility account or check out your most recent bill to learn about your energy use and see how you compare to others. If you have questions, Citizens Utility Board offers call-in utility bill clinics where they help residents understand their energy use and bills.
  2. Get an audit: For Xcel Energy and/or CenterPoint Energy customers, home energy assessments are available through Home Energy Squad. For all residents, check with your gas or electric utility to see what home energy assessments and related programs they have available. There are do-it-yourself audit* options too.
  3. Get resources: Check out the assistance options, links, and videos below to learn more about how you can start saving energy and track your progress.

*Note: in order to meet eligibility requirements for Minnesota energy rebate programs, home energy audits must be performed by a certified professional. 


Benchmarking is the practice of comparing the measured performance of a device, process, facility, or organization to itself, its peers, or established norms, with the goal of informing and motivating performance improvement.

When applied to building energy use, benchmarking serves as a mechanism to measure energy performance of a single building over time, relative to other similar buildings.

If you don’t have access to a home energy assessment where you live, you may want to do a self-assessment.

Or, simply see what you can do to improve your home’s air tightness by taking the following steps:

  • Adding weather stripping around doors.
  • Re-sealing windows.
  • Spraying foam around gaps opening into the house.
  • Insulating dryer vents.

But, be sure you've checked for programs available from your utility before taking these do-it-yourself steps.

More Steps: Home Energy GuidES

There’s a saying, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” and it rings true when you’re thinking about ways to save energy. Benchmarking is a highly practical way to measure energy use in your buildings and is the first step in managing energy costs.

Four Reasons to Benchmark

  1. Benchmarking helps cities, counties, schools, and state government identify low or no-cost improvement opportunities.
  2. Benchmarking can help you demonstrate to others the value of your energy efficiency projects and show progress.
  3. Building benchmarking is often a requirement for energy-related funding opportunities available to your community.
  4. Benchmarking your buildings is a Best Practice Action for the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program.

What is B3 Benchmarking?

  • B3, which stands for Buildings, Benchmarks, and Beyond, is a robust online tool for tracking and managing energy use in public buildings.
  • B3 helps guide decision making by showing which buildings would benefit most from energy efficiency improvements. It also allows you to monitor progress as you invest in your community’s infrastructure.
  • B3 Benchmarking makes it easy for you to see how well your buildings are performing so you can plan effectively, optimize resources, ensure occupant comfort, and advance your mission.

Screenshot of B3 website