LEED Certification

LEED Certification

Blue Ocean Energy offers LEED O&M Certification for Existing Buildings v 4 and v 4.1 offered through the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance is the tool for the ongoing operations and maintenance of existing commercial and institutional buildings. The certification system identifies and rewards current best practices and provides an outline for buildings to use less energy, water and natural resources; improve the indoor environment; and uncover operating inefficiencies.

Blue Ocean has experience with the new LEED v 4.1 O&M Certification for Existing Buildings which is more inclusive and allows projects to earn LEED points through building performance monitoring via the Arc platform.

In fact, Blue Ocean recently helped a large commercial real estate client obtain 5 GOLD LEED certified buildings using the new LEED v4.1 O&M rating system.

Why LEED Certification? Property owners report, according to USGBC, reduced operating costs, lower employee absenteeism and turn-over, higher re-sale values, less time on the market, faster lease-up rates, higher lease rates and reduced risks.

Energy Star Certification

Energy Star Certification

ENERGY STAR® Certification

Blue Ocean Energy can help your building become ENERGY STAR certified. As an ENERGY STAR Partner, we are recognized and committed to promoting energy efficiency.

Become An ENERGY STAR Certified Building

ENERGY STAR certified buildings are awarded to facilities that are in the top 25% from an energy efficiency point of view.

Qualifying for the ENERGY STAR certification is a process that occurs each year, and requires third-party verification. Once a commercial building has become ENERGY STAR certified, the property can publicly display the ENERGY STAR plaque. The ENERGY STAR certification is a strong signal to current and potential tenants that a building owner / manager is proactively managing energy costs. According to ENERGY STAR, “an ENERGY STAR certified office building, on average, uses 35% less energy, and costs $0.54 less per square foot to operate, and has higher rental and occupancy rates.” Many Fortune 500 companies, as well as the federal government, require buildings in which they lease space to be ENERGY STAR certified. Energy cost savings have positive impacts for building owners, managers and tenants alike. Other benefits include lower operating costs, better cash flow, higher rental rates and increased value of the asset. Blue Ocean can help you commit to the ENERGY STAR process, and if so, how to maximize your benefits by the effort.

Call us today to learn how we can help you become ENERGY STAR certified at 512-600-7060 or email us at info@blueoceanenergy.net.

Our ENERGY STAR Certification Service

To assess a building’s eligibility, Blue Ocean collects multiple years of utility data for all energy sources. In addition, building parameters and occupancy rates for the most recent 24-month period are utilized. Blue Ocean will analyze and input the data into Portfolio Manager to determine eligibility.

If a building is rated in the top 25% of peer buildings and eligibility is confirmed, Blue Ocean will conduct a site visit with a Texas licensed Professional Engineer. During the site visit, indoor air quality will be assessed, and light measurements will be taken to ensure that the building is in compliance with ASHRAE Standard 55 and 62.1 as well as the IESNA Lighting Handbook.

For further information regarding ENERGY STAR requirements and verification.

When the building passes the site inspection, the final application is submitted to ENERGY STAR.

Blue Ocean is a certified ENERGY STAR partner. To date, all of Blue Ocean’s ENERGY STAR applications have successfully been awarded.

Office Building, Austin, TX

During the final ENERGY STAR site visit, one floor in a six-story office building had CO2 levels above the ENERGY STAR guideline. Blue Ocean observed that the fresh air vents’ actuators had become inoperable and that no fresh air was supplied to the floor. Subsequently, it became apparent that some of the building’s tenants had been complaining of discomfort on that particular floor. The actuators were fixed and on our subsequent visit the CO2 levels on that floor were in an acceptable range. Indoor air quality was restored to healthy levels, tenant complaints were eliminated, and the building qualified for the ENERGY STAR certification.


Office Building, Houston, TX

The owner of this office building retained Blue Ocean for our Comprehensive Energy Audit service. During several years of improving the operational parameters of the building with little to no capital expenditure, Blue Ocean’s services were instrumental in improving this office building (built in 1986) from ranking in the 40th percentile (below average) to the top 15% of office buildings in the U.S.

Energy Audit

Energy Audit

Commercial Energy Audit

Boost profits by driving down energy costs. Blue Ocean collects and analyzes energy data to identify and implement cost-effective measures to achieve significant energy cost reductions.

Energy Audit Services for Buildings

Why audit energy? You can’t manage what you don’t measure holds true for energy efficiency.

An energy audit is the benchmark by which all future energy efficiency improvements must be measured against. In order to calculate savings, return on capital expenditure, and payback times, the energy profile of a facility must be generated as a benchmark.

Far too often, an energy audit is used by product manufacturers as a poorly disguised attempt to sell their products. Blue Ocean does not manufacture or sell equipment. The sole purpose of our commercial energy audit service is to improve our clients’ energy efficiency, thereby reducing energy costs. We always tell our clients “Don’t buy expensive capital equipment without first doing an independent energy audit!” Why? Because current equipment should be assessed at or near design parameters before any replacement decision is made. For this reason, we recommend that you do not let your equipment manufacturer or equipment service provider conduct your energy audit. Blue Ocean is 100% committed to representing our clients’ interests, not selling capital equipment.

Blue Ocean Energy Management is a team of commercial energy consultants that uses state-of-the-art technologies to monitor critical electrical loads. We use web-enabled load monitors that collect data for energy consumption (kWh), Peak Demand (kW) as well as Power Factor. A comprehensive energy audit provides the basic understanding of how a building uses energy and provides solutions/strategies for ways to use energy more efficiently.

The energy audit becomes the cornerstone for the development of the Energy Management Strategy, where Blue Ocean will deliver a client-specific set of prioritized recommendations and an action plan to implement these changes. All Blue Ocean’s audit findings and recommendations are presented in an Energy Audit Report, designed as a roadmap for the building owner/manager to achieve future energy savings.

While our clients can customize the energy audit to meet their specific needs, we have developed three standard levels of energy audits:


Comprehensive Energy Audit

  1. Facility inspection
  2. Historical consumption and cost analysis
  3. Electricity “Demand” (kW) analysis
  4. Electricity “Power Factor” (PF) and Load Factor analysis
  5. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission calculation
  6. Climate normalization of energy consumption
  7. Energy cost development and forecasting
  8. Tenant sub-meter invoicing audit
  9. EPA (ENERGY STAR®) Rating analysis
  10. Real-time monitoring of major electrical loads for 3-9 months
  11. Load profiles to analyze overall electrical usage
  12. Load shifting analysis (reduce peak demand)
  13. HVAC performance analysis
  14. Operational efficiency analysis
  15. Weekly load analysis
  16. Work with site staff to improve efficiency
  17. Assist with the implementation of any cost savings strategies identified
  18. Monthly cost monitoring to determine actual savings

Walk-through Energy Audit

  1. Facility inspection
  2. Historical consumption and cost analysis
  3. Electricity “Demand” (kW) analysis
  4. Electricity “Power Factor” (PF) and Load Factor analysis
  5. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission calculation
  6. Climate normalization of energy consumption
  7. Energy cost development and forecasting
  8. Tenant sub-meter invoicing audit
  9. EPA (ENERGY STAR®) Rating analysis
  10. Work with site staff to improve efficiency
  11. Assist with the implementation of any cost savings strategies identified
  12. Monthly cost monitoring to determine actual savings

Basic Energy Audit

  1. Historical energy and water consumption analysis
  2. Electricity “Demand” (kW) analysis
  3. Natural gas and electricity conversion to British Thermal Units (Btu) facilitating cost comparison
  4. Greenhouse gas emission calculation
  5. Normalized energy consumption
  6. ENERGY STAR® Rating analysis
  7. Energy cost development

Blue Ocean offers energy audit services to multiple clients, including:

Commercial Office Buildings, Retail Shopping Centers, Medical Centers, Automobile Dealerships, Churches, Country Clubs, Restaurants, Hotels, Schools, Light Industrial and others.

Office Building, Austin, TX

During our Comprehensive Energy Audit for this client, Blue Ocean found that the rooftop HVAC units were running with no particular schedule and frequently during unoccupied hours. We recommended new thermostats with a web integrated “dashboard” for automated control capabilities. As a result, our client realized a 22% reduction in energy consumption over the next year. The “payback” period for our services was less than six months, and our client continues to realize energy savings year after year.

Hotel, Dallas, TX

The energy audit identified that the hotel had been overcharged by the utility company while the hotel was going through renovations. Blue Ocean negotiated a refund from the utility provider for the hotel. In addition, during the Blue Ocean’s study, CO2 levels were found to be exceedingly high on several floors, resulting in thermal discomfort for the hotel guests. Blue Ocean located the source of the problem and arranged for the repair of two of the hotel’s exhaust fans.

Office Building, Austin, TX

Blue Ocean’s real-time monitoring quickly found that the building had extensive simultaneous heating and cooling. To resolve the issue, Blue Ocean recommended the installation of an outside air temperature sensor. This sensor would prevent the chillers from coming on when the outside air temperature is below a certain threshold. Blue Ocean also calibrated the pneumatic thermostats, resulting in an additional energy reduction of 19%.

Ordinance Compliance

Ordinance Compliance

Energy Policy Compliance

Compliance to most City's Energy Policy is mandatory, but Blue Ocean helps our clients extract real benefits from the process. Blue Ocean - Austin’s #1 service provider - does more compliance audits than our competitors for one reason...we help our clients indentify energy savings and reduced costs.
Learn more about your area's Energy Policy

Our Energy Compliance Services

As part of Blue Ocean’s energy compliance services we use Portfolio Manager (an industry standard model) for comparing a building’s energy performance to peer buildings across the U.S. facilitating true benchmarking. More than 40 % of U.S. commercial space is benchmarked in Portfolio Manager.  The objective of Portfolio Manager’s ENERGY STAR® score is to provide a fair energy assessment of the performance of a property relative to its peers, taking into account the climate, weather, and business activities at the property.

For high-performing buildings, the information collected can be utilized in obtaining the prestigious ENERGY STAR® certification, signaling to the marketplace that the building is in the top 25% of energy efficient buildings.

Blue Ocean’s Audit services include additional energy usage parameters such as peak demand, power factor, and cost analysis, as well as a client-specific energy cost forecasting over the next decade. As part of Blue Ocean’s service, we also provide a utility invoice audit.

Blue Ocean guarantees energy compliance for all of our clients. Blue Ocean retains all records and documentation for any compliance in perpetuity. All future questions regarding compliance and/or assistance when a building is transacted are covered as part of Blue Ocean’s Energy Benchmarking services.

Blue Ocean turns your annual Energy Policy obligation into an opportunity to better manage your energy costs…ultimately SAVING money.

Call us today to learn more about our energy compliance services at 512-600-7060 or email us at info@blueoceanenergy.net.

Blue Ocean is Austin’s leading provider of Energy Compliance Services.

Year after year, we worked with over 300 commercial buildings representing more than 15,000,000 square feet of floor space.

Typical Blue Ocean clients participate in the annual benchmarking compliance obligation for the benefits that Blue Ocean’s audit provides, not just out of fear of non-compliance.

Clients include: Commercial Office Buildings, Retail Shopping Centers, Medical Centers, Automobile Dealerships, Churches, Country Clubs, Restaurants, Hotels, Schools, Light Industrial, just to name a few.

Large Commercial Office Building

During Blue Ocean’s Audit services, a peak demand billing error was discovered. On behalf of Blue Ocean’s client, we contacted the utility and successfully obtained a refund of $12,000.


Retail Shopping Center

While providing Blue Ocean’s Audit service, we discovered that a Texas Gas Service meter was being invoiced to the wrong tenant. Blue Ocean got the error corrected and our client received the refund they were due.

Country Club

During Blue Ocean’s Audit service, we discovered that the country club was on the wrong utility rate for a number of its electric meters. This issue was corrected and our client received a $10,000 refund.


Office Building

The owner of this building was so surprised when their energy rating indicated the building was in the bottom 20% of peer buildings. Blue Ocean was retained for a Comprehensive Energy Audit and the primary source of the low rating was discovered to be simultaneous heating and cooling. Subsequently, the building’s energy rating improved 200%.

City of Austin’s ECAD Ordinance

In 2008, the Austin City Council passed the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) Ordinance.

All commercial buildings 10,000 square feet and above are required to report their annual ECAD rating to the City of Austin/Austin Energy by May 31st of each year. The ECAD Ordinance requires that ALL ENERGY SOURCES in a building are accounted for when calculating the rating. This includes all electricity consumption, natural gas consumption, solar energy, chilled water, propane usage, etc. The consequence for non-compliance may include a penalty of up to $2,000, and in addition, any commercial facility not in compliance with the ordinance will not be eligible for any Austin Energy rebates/incentive programs.

The ordinance also requires that a seller of a commercial property share the ECAD rating with a prospective buyer before closing.

The ECAD rating indicates a building’s Energy Use Intensity (EUI). The higher the ECAD rating, the lower the energy cost compared to peer competition. One of the goals of the ECAD Ordinance is to raise the profile of energy efficiency for buyers and sellers of commercial properties. By requiring annual energy audits, the City believes that energy efficiency will become an increasingly important factor for buyers and tenants.

Utility Measurement and Verification

Utility Measurement and Verification

Utility Measurement and Verification

Utility measurement is not always accurate. Call Blue Ocean to ensure that your utility measurement aligns with your electrical consumption. Our laboratory-grade equipment measures and verifies so you and your tenants have confidence in electricity cost allocations.

There may be a question as to whether or not your utility measurement is correct. Blue Ocean can assist with verification, and cost allocation with utility bills and / or equipment.

This is a particular concern if a sub-meter is incorrectly measuring a tenant’s load which is then invoiced back to the tenant. It is important to get cost allocation right whether this is for utility services or equipment. Utility measurement can be verified to ensure it aligns with your electrical usage.

Incorrectly invoiced meters can cause legal disputes, as well as accounting nightmares, especially when a meter has been measuring incorrectly for an extended period of time. Blue Ocean’s experience shows that one in four sub-meters have a greater than 20% accuracy variance.

Blue Ocean offers our Utility Measurement and Verification service using laboratory-grade equipment that is calibrated and guaranteed to be 1/10th of 1% accurate. Blue Ocean offers a quick and easy way to ensure electrical meter accuracy and to ensure that tenants are invoiced correctly.

Types of Utility Measurement and Verification

Blue Ocean offers two types of load verification:

  1. Extended load verification – Blue Ocean’s equipment will measure the load for a minimum of 24 hours. The greater period of load measurement ensures greater verification accuracy, as it ensures that equipment cycling on and off is being captured over the extended period of measurements.
  2. Load observation – This service particularly targets loads that are fairly constant. Blue Ocean’s equipment will be attached for a minimum of 15 minutes. As a result, multiple meter verification can take place in a relatively short period of time.

After the measurement period is concluded, Blue Ocean will issue a meter verification report that clearly states whether or not the meter is within operational tolerances. This service is also available for utility meter verification.

Blue Ocean also offers equipment, maintenance and operational cost calculations for building usage and after-hours usage. We can provided equipment life cycle and administrative costs stamped by a Certified Energy Manager and Texas Certified PE.

Blue Ocean offers this service to multiple clients, including:

Clients include: Commercial Office Buildings, Retail Shopping Centers, Medical Centers, Automobile Dealerships, Churches, Country Clubs, Restaurants, Hotels, Schools, Light Industrial


Office Building, Austin, TX

The sub-meter was measuring load with an error of 2,000%, resulting in extensive overbilling to the tenant. The sub-meter had been in place for many years. Blue Ocean’s Measurement and Verification services provided the evidence required to correct overbilling of several hundred thousand dollars during this time period.

Office Building, Austin, TX

Blue Ocean was retained to verify a meter where a tenant had questions about the accuracy of electrical consumption. Upon inspection of the meter, Blue Ocean determined that it was not, in fact, an electrical meter but instead a Btu meter. The tenant had been invoiced incorrectly for more than a year. Blue Ocean was able to resolve the billing discrepancies resulting in a substantial refund for our client.

Office Building, Houston, TX

During Blue Ocean’s measurement and verification of the building utility meter, we determined that the power factor was measured incorrectly by the utility meter, resulting in substantial over-charges for our client. Blue Ocean was able to resolve the billing discrepancies, resulting in a refund for the client that far exceeded our fees.