Operations Report Card Instructions

  1. Registration
  2. Add Schools
  3. Manage Users
    1. Add Users
    2. Types of Users
    3. Delete Users
  4. Connect to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
  5. Collect and Enter School Data
    1. Water Fixture Audit Instructions
    2. Water Submetering Audit Instructions
    3. Waste Audit Instructions
  6. Occupant Surveys
    1. Set Up a Survey
    2. Add Survey Participants
    3. Email Survey Participants
  7. Select Classrooms for Data Collection
  8. Collect and Enter Classroom Data
    1. Required Instruments
    2. Collect Classroom Data
      1. Thermal
      2. Lighting
      3. Acoustics
      4. Indoor Air Quality
    3. Enter Classroom Data
  9. Finalize the ORC

1. Registration

Create an account for use in the Operations Report Card program by following these steps:

  1. Create a new account for yourself at if you do not already have one. You can create an account here: Avoid using shared accounts. Each user should have their own account.
  2. If this is the first time you are participating in an ORC, go to and click on the “Start an ORC now” button. Fill out the form and click “submit.” CHPS will email you to confirm your participation. Confirmation can take as little as one business day, and up to 5 business days. Once you receive the confirmation email, you will be able to continue with the remainder of these instructions. If you have previously participated in the ORC, click on the “Start an ORC now” button and you will be directed to your ORC Dashboard. Follow the directions for adding a school below.
  3. Return to and log in using the “Username” and “Password” field in the upper lefthand corner of the screen. After logging in you will see a link for your dashboard in the upper part of the screen next to your userid. Click that link to continue to your ORC Dashboard.

2. Add Schools

Once you have received access to your ORC Program Dashboard, begin by Adding a School to your account. Click on the link in the “My Schools” box. Later, after you add you first school, you will be able to click on the “Add School” button. Fill out the information for your school, and click “Add to Shopping Cart.” You will now see that school in your shopping cart. Continue adding schools until you have all the schools you wish to add.

In order to have access to a school and start its Operations Report Card, you must click the “checkout” button. Schools which have not been paid for will be viewable on in your ‘My Schools’ box, but you will not be able to begin an ORC for them.

You may pay for your schools by clicking the “Checkout” button from the Shopping Cart. You may choose to pay by check or to have an invoice sent to you. Note that you will not be able to review your ORC results until payment is received. Choose your payment method and click the “Finish” button.

Users may not directly delete schools. If you ever need to remove a school from your account after you have registered it, please contact with your request.

3. Manage Users

Adding new users will allow you to delegate responsibility of program and school ORC activities to other users.

a. Add Users

Click on the “Manage Users” button in the “My Program Users” box. From the next screen, you will be able to either create a new account for a user or use an existing account to assign responsibility to a user. Fill out the necessary information, select which school they will work on, and choose a role.

b. Types of Users

There are four types of users:

  1. Program Manager: This user type is a top-level administrator account for schools and districts. A program manager may add new schools to their portfolio and pay for them. They may also perform any of the functions of the School Manager. This user type must be an administrator at their school or district, or have the expressed approval of an administrator. Program Managers may be employed by a school or district, or they may be a contractor or third party. They have access to all schools that they add to their portfolios. There are three typical uses of a Program Manager account. (1) A district administrator uses this account to manage the schools and users in their district. (2) A private or charter school uses this as their primary user type to add and manage a school. (3) A third party uses this account to manage their client schools.
  2. School Manager: This user is associated with individual schools, and they may be associated with multiple schools. School Managers complete all ORC functions at the school level. These functions include: setting up and managing the occupant surveys, collecting school-level and classroom-level data, and sharing the school's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager data. School managers are assigned by Program Managers. School Managers may not add or pay for additional schools. A school does not need to have a school manager associated with it; all functions may be completed by a Program Manager if desired.
  3. Program Observer: This user has read-only access to any schools that they are added to. They may not add or edit any information. This role is typically used for people like superintendents or principals who would like to keep track of the school but will not be adding data.
  4. Occupant Survey Participant: This user completes the occupant survey associated with their school and has no other role, function, or access capabilities.

c. Delete Users

To delete users, from the ORC Program Dashboard, click on the “Manage Users” button in the “Manage Program Users” box. Under “Delete Users”, click on the checkbox next to the appropriate user’s or users’ names and click the button “Delete Users”.

4. Connect to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

You must use the Portfolio Manager program from ENERGY STAR to get a rating for your school’s energy efficiency. You can get detailed instructions on completing the ENERGY STAR process on the ENERGY STAR website.

Additionally, if your school is within the service area for most of the major utilities, you may be eligible for free assistance from your utility company. They may be able to automatically upload your energy use information, saving you from the requirement to type in detailed energy bill information. Contact your utility provider for more information. If your provider does not provide this service, consider requesting it so that they may better serve you in the future.

Whether you enter the energy information yourself or receive assistance from your utility, please be sure that you have energy information input for at least 15 months prior to the month that you will generate your Report Card. This is to ensure that sufficient data is present to benchmark. If your school has been occupied for fewer than 15 months, you will need to wait at least that long to acquire the relevant information.

After you have benchmarked your school with Portfolio Manager, you will need to connect your Energy Star Portfolio Manager account to your ORC account. Be sure you have already registered the school for the ORC before you begin.

Follow these steps to complete the process:
  1. Log in to your Portfolio Manager account here (this will open up the ENERGY STAR website in a different window/tab).
  2. From the “My Portfolio Page,” click the “Share” button.
  3. Enter the account name CHPS_ABS on the Select User or Master Account Screen. Note that the CHPS account may not be listed in the drop down menu, so you must type it in. Then click the “Add and Modify” button.
  4. Select the appropriate options for sharing your building information. Please give CHPS Read Only access to your facilities under Access Role. Under the Optional Rights section, please select yes for the first question (Can this user set a baseline for the shared facilities?), and no for the second and third questions (sharing access with other accounts and deleting facilities from your account). Click the “Continue” button after you have selected all of the options.
  5. Select the buildings (schools) you want to share with CHPS. Please only share schools that have been signed up for the ORC. If you have not already registered the school, CHPS will deny the sharing request. After you select the school(s) to share, click the “Continue” button.
  6. Check the confirmation screen to ensure you have selected the correct facility and sharing options. Click “Save” if your settings are correct according to this guide.
  7. You will see a screen confirming your submission. Simply click the “Return” button to return to your main Portfolio Manager page. Be sure to log out of the system when you are finished working in Portfolio Manager.
  8. Look for a confirmation email from Portfolio Manager on behalf of CHPS. This email will indicate that CHPS has approved or denied your request to share facilities. If your request is denied, you should receive a short explanation. Your ORC School Dashboard will be updated to include the latest information regarding your Portfolio Manager account and the ORC.

5. Collect and Enter School Data

There are two components to the school data that need to be collected: school information and classroom information. School information relates to the school as a whole, while classroom information is collected by studying individual classrooms in detail. This section deals with collecting the information needed at a school level.

General Information

School data should be entered into the ORC website. Begin by visiting your ORC Program Dashboard. Click on the name of the school you are entering data for. On the School Dashboard, within the My Data box, click the "Input School Data" button.

There are eight categories of information:
  1. General Information
  2. Lighting
  3. HVAC
  4. Systems
  5. Set Backs
  6. Indoor Air Quality
  7. Water
  8. Waste
If you are very familiar with the school, you may simply visit each page and enter the information. If needed, print a copy of each page to collect the information and come back later to enter the information into the website. As you enter information on the website, be sure to click the Save button at the bottom of each screen data collection screen, even if you need to come back later to finish. If you do not click Save, you will lose your work.


a. Water Fixture Audit Instructions
During the water audit, you will determine the flow rate of each water fixture in the school. As you compile the flow rate of individual fixtures, use the physical data sheets provided in the Technical Resources to track your progress. Once you fill out all of the data sheets, enter your final results into the ORC website.

Inside the school, note the flow rates of each of these fixture types, both automatic and manual:
  1. Bathroom sinks
  2. Kitchen sinks
  3. Toilets
  4. Urinals
  5. Showers
Begin by going from room to room in the school. For each room, record the number of each type of fixture listed, along with the flow rate for that fixture. If there are similar fixtures with different flow rates (i.e.: high efficiency toilets and standard toilets), record the number of each. Note if any use non-potable water.

If you do not know the flow rate of a sink or shower, simply time how long it takes to fill a one-gallon jug. Divide 1 gallon by the number of seconds it takes to fill, then divide by 60 to convert to gallons per minute. That is:
Flow rate equation

As you go from room to room, tally the total number of each type of fixture with a similar flow rate. (See sample worksheets.) Use the worksheets in the appendix to complete this information.

Finally, copy the data from the worksheets into the website.

Outdoors, be sure to find the flow rates for these fixtures:

  1. Spigots, regular and secure
  2. Sprinklers
  3. Drip irrigation
Complete the outdoor water audit, following the same procedure as the indoor water audit, but collect the flowrates of each outdoor fixture. Use the provided worksheets and enter the data online.

b. Water Submetering Audit Instructions

In the water submetering audit, you will determine whether water use is measured and billed through a single water meter or multiple water meters. Typically, submeters will separately meter all indoor water use from all outdoor water use. In some cases additional submeters may further isolate indoor, gym showers, landscaping, recreational fields, swimming pool, and/or cooling tower water usage. Submetering enables targeted water reduction efforts and may allow for reducing water bills based simply on type of use.

c. Waste Audit Instructions

In the waste audit, you will measure the amount of each waste type present in all waste, recycling, and compostables containers at the school. Use the worksheets provided at the Technical Resources page to collect all of the data in the field, and then enter your results into the ORC website.

The waste audit may identify the degree of contamination of and identify opportunities for program improvements to increase recycling revenue or decrease collection costs. The audit helps to ensure that the collected materials are actually recycled or composted. For example, is there compostable material in the trash? Or trash in the recyclables? You will sort the contents of all garbage, recyclable, and compost dumpsters at your school into types, then determine the weight of each type.

The ORC focuses on the three main types of school materials:
  1. Garbage, which is generally waste destined for landfill disposal
  2. Recyclables, which will vary by community depending on what recycling facilities exist
  3. Compostables, which are materials like food scraps and soiled paper and landscaping materials that can be composted instead of disposed with garbage.
You will track the amount of each type of waste using the data collection sheets provided by CHPS. These are available on the ORC Technical Resources Index. Each type of waste is subdivided into specific categories, such as paper, glass, food scraps, etc. You will quantify each of these categories to understand the breakdown of your school’s waste stream.

Understanding the types of waste in each container type is an important to be sure that loads are not being contaminated. If a recyclable dumpster has more than a 5%, it may not be usable by your local facility. Such loads may be disposed of at the recycling facility, or they may contaminate an even larger load. This can make large batches of recyclables unusable. If you have any revenue related to recyclables, high contamination rates may jeopardize your payments.

Similarly, non-compostable waste in compost containers can spoil a whole load of compost. Contamination adds cost and time because foreign material must be sorted out.

In addition to contaminated recyclables and compost bins, the audit will also identify how effective your recycling and compost strategies are. You will find out how much recyclable and compostable materials wind up in garbage bins.


First and foremost, read and follow the safety protocol available from Cal Recycle. You will be handling trash, recyclables, and compost. Safety should be a primary concern. Check with your health and safety office for any school-specific protocols that need to be followed when handling garbage. Generally, the following safety equipment is suggested:

Body protection:
  1. Tyvek or equivalent, disposable coveralls
  2. Chemical resistant coveralls, if appropriate
  3. Hard bottomed, non-slip, steel toe boots
  4. A supply of outer rubber (cut and puncture resistant) gloves
  5. Chemical goggles or safety glasses with splash shields
  6. Dust masks
  7. A supply of inner (latex or non-latex) gloves
  8. Snake guards, if appropriate
  9. Insect repellent
  10. Dog repellent
Other safety equipment:
  1. Supportive back belt for heavy lifting
  2. Industrial first aid kit
  3. Field blanket
  4. Eye wash kit
  5. Moist, disposable towelettes (e.g., baby wipes)
  6. Small fire extinguisher
  7. High visibility traffic cones and tapes
  8. Site-specific safety plan
  9. Drinking water
Complete the waste audit form by sorting the contents of all garbage, recyclables, and compostables dumpsters at the school into various categories. Undertake the audit on a day just prior to collection during the school year to ensure that the dumpsters contain a representative sample.

Acquire the necessary sorting equipment. This includes non-safety equipment that is generally required for a waste sorting exercise. Some of these items may be substituted or omitted depending upon personal preferences:
  1. Knife with a fixed blade
  2. Small bins or buckets (5 gal and/or larger) for weighing sorted materials
  3. Sorting table
  4. Bathroom scale, accurate to at least one pound
  5. Tongs
  6. Permanent markers
  7. Clipboard and data sheets
  8. Large magnets
  9. Calculator
  10. Trash bags
  11. Step ladder
  12. A long stick, approximately 6' in length
  13. Rake with a long handle
  14. Rake with a short handle
  15. Shovel with a long handle
  16. Broom
  17. Camera
  18. Duct tape
  19. Plastic sheeting (minimum of 10 mm thick)
Cordon off a large area around the dumpsters that you are sampling using cones or warning tape. Wearing appropriate safety gear, set up the sorting table. Label each bucket with the type of waste it will contain. The material categories include:
  1. Paper & Cardboard
  2. Glass
  3. Metal
  4. Plastic
  5. Organic material
  6. Construction/demolition material
  7. Electronics
  8. Household hazardous waste
  9. Special waste
  10. Mixed residue / other
Cover the table and the ground around the sorting area with plastic sheeting. Weigh it down or tape down the sides.

Begin removing waste from the dumpster. As you remove bags, carefully tear them open. Use the tongs, shovels, and rakes to transfer their contents to the appropriate bucket.

Caution: Never open red bags or hazardous waste bags.

As a bucket becomes full, weigh it on the scale and empty it into a new garbage bag. Record its weight on the data sheets, then empty the bucket back into the appropriate disposal container (dumpster, recycling container, etc.). Repeat the process until all waste is categorized and weighed in all dumpsters at the site.

Note: As you empty buckets after weighing, be sure not to empty them into containers that contain waste that has not yet been weighed!

Repeat this process for all dumpsters, recyclable containers, and compost bins at the site.

If any particularly large, bulky, or unwieldy items are present, such as concrete or major building demolition products, estimate their volume and use the conversion factors available from CalRecycle to estimate their weight.

6. Occupant Surveys

The occupant surveys are an important component of the Operations Report Card. All of the survey components, including distribution and completion, take place completely online.

a. Set Up a Survey

From your School Dashboard, begin by clicking the “Set Up My Survey” button in the “My Surveys” box.

On this screen, you will enter the following information:
  1. Principal name and email: This is the information that will be used to send the survey. Please have support from the principal before entering this information. The website will automatically send the survey participation request from the email address that you enter here.
  2. Due Date: This is the date that the survey will close. The survey should be open for at least two weeks, and it is recommended that you start the survey 3-4 weeks prior to school and classroom data collection. Also avoid sending out the survey over summer and extended breaks. You can run surveys in multiple schools concurrently if needed. Enter it in the format YYYY-MM-DD or use the pop-up calendar to select a date.
  3. Classroom Light Directions: For each of these (1 – 5), enter a direction that windows at the school face. Use descriptors like “North, towards the ball field” or “South, towards Main Street.” If your school contain classrooms that do not have windows, list “No windows” as the fifth entry. Survey participants will see these directions presented as options within the survey, so make sure they can be understood.
Click Save after you have entered this information, and you will return to your School Dashboard.

b. Add Survey Participants

To add survey participants, click the “Add Survey Participants” button. From this screen you can either bulk upload a list of survey participants that have been saved as a .csv file, or individually add participants. Use the blank form available here to upload users in bulk.

You should survey all staff at the school site that have a “permanent” workspace – teachers in classrooms and administrative staff in offices. Staff that move around throughout the building, such as custodians, should not participate in the survey.

c. Email Survey Participants

Once you have created your survey and added users, you will want to send out your survey and remind users to participant. You can do this using the “Email Survey Participants” button in the “My Surveys” box.

To send out a survey to a group of users, click the “Add” button in the “Email Messages” box. You will be given a suggested email for inviting users to the survey. You should set up at least three emails. The first will announce that the survey is open and request participation. A second will be a reminder email to those who have not yet completed the survey. A third will announce that the survey has closed and thank participants. Follow these steps to set up your emails. A text document of sample emails, including suggested survey email messages such as an informational memo and survey reminder, can be downloaded here.

To set up an email, fill in the fields:
  1. Description: This field is used for naming emails so that you can manage them later and is for internal use only. For example, you might call your first email to survey participants "Survey Announcement;" and later emails might be called "First Survey Reminder" or "Final Survey Reminder".
  2. Subject (Required): You may want to make this more personal to your school (“Help us get an Operations Report Card for Your School Name!”) or keep it to the more general subject line provided.
  3. Reply-To (Required): Enter an email address in the Reply-To field. This may be your email address, or the email address of a principal, president or superintendent. You should have permission to use this email address as a reply-to.
  4. Message (Required): Edit the body text. Basic html is recognized. Text for additional suggested survey messages, such as reminder and thank you emails, can be found here. The following tags are permitted within the email text in order to personalize it: [LinkToSurvey], [School], [Principal], [Participant], [Closing date]. '[LinkToSurvey]' is required to be in the email in order to provide participants with a link to the survey.
  5. Scheduled Send Date (Required): Choose a date to send out the email. The date must be the current date or later. Emails will be sent at 11:00 AM EST on the day indicated, or within an hour if you choose today’s date.
  6. Participants (Required): Choose the participants that you wish to send the email to. You can choose the prescribed lists, like “Started but not completed survey”, or create a custom list by choosing “Custom” and then individually choosing participants to receive the email.
Click the “Save” button when you are finished.

Later, you may edit any messages that are sent out by clicking the "Email Survey Participants" button and clicking "Edit" beside the email. Messages may only be edited prior to being sent out.

7. Select Classrooms for Data Collection

Choosing which classrooms to evaluate in detail for the ORC is an important process. A minimum of 25% classrooms based on HVAC Type/Zone (per building) should have field measurements observed and recorded.

As each school campus may have a number of different types of HVAC equipment providing conditioned air to the occupied space, careful planning is encouraged to assure that each type of HVAC system is selected for measurement. Primary attention should be given to HVAC systems serving classrooms. In some cases this may involve only one classroom within that individual HVAC Type/Zone or Building.

The following steps should be followed in selecting classrooms for measurement.
  1. Acquire a floor plan of the school. You may use a floor plan, fire escape map, or other similar map.
  2. Indicate the HVAC system type serving each room. Consider color-coding each room to indicate which system is in use.
  3. Determine the number of classrooms necessary for testing. A minimum of 25% of the classrooms with each HVAC type by building must be tested. Note that administrative rooms and other non-classroom settings are not included. If relocatable classrooms are used on site, consider any identical units as one building. That is, sample 25% of each type of relocatable classroom.
  4. Select which classrooms will be tested. Using the results from the occupant survey and your best judgment, indicate on the map which classrooms will be tested. Choose classrooms, if possible, that have known issues in order to help correct them.
A PDF example of how to select classrooms is available for download here here.

8. Collect and Enter Classroom Data

a. Required Instruments

These instruments are required to take measurements within the selected classrooms and gather the necessary data:
  1. Infrared thermometer (“point-and-shoot” style)
  2. Air temperature thermometer (instant-read)
  3. Relative humidity meter
  4. Light level meter capable of reading footcandles
  5. CO2 meter
  6. CO meter
  7. Sound level meter capable of reading A-weighted deciBels
  8. Acoustic analyzer capable of measuring reverberation times (Optional)

b. Collect Classroom Data

Instructions for collecting each specific piece of data are available on the PDF versions of the data collection sheets for each section. An overview of each section is provided here.

i. Thermal Comfort
Thermal comfort measurements must be taken while the classroom is occupied. Using an instant-read air thermometer, measure the temperature at five locations in the classroom: front, rear, both sides, and center. Temperatures should be taken in degrees Fahrenheit three times during the same day: morning, midday, and end of school day. It is important to understand how the temperature changes as the outdoor temperature progresses during the day.

ii. Lighting
Measure the lighting level in the classrooms in footcandles at each point on a 3 x 3 grid in the classroom. Hold the sensor at desk level, and note any areas of apparent glare. These measurements must be made three times in the same day for each classroom: morning, midday, and end of school day. It is important to understand how the lighting conditions change as the sun move throughout the day. Measurements may be performed while the room is occupied or unoccupied as long as it is the correct time of day.

iii. Acoustics
There are two required components for acoustics: background noise data and sound insulation. Reverberation time is an optional measurement. All acoustics measurements take place while the classroom is unoccupied.

To study the background noise levels, you’ll take measurements once with the HVAC system on and once with it off. Make sure doors and windows are shut, and be sure there are no unusual noises in the background, such as vacuums or floor cleaners. Measure the sound level at the center of the classroom at desk level. Optionally, complete this measurement at the center of each wall within the classroom for more precise measurements.

Sound insulation is measured by setting up a speaker attached to a laptop or mobile device in the classroom.
  1. Download the sound file.
  2. Set the speaker to play the provided sound file at 100 dB. IMPORTANT: You must wear hearing protection while conducting this test.
  3. Stand in the center of the space and measure the sound level.
  4. Move to the hallway (if present) and to an adjoining classroom and repeat steps 2-3.
If you choose to study reverberation time, follow these instructions:
  1. Download the sound file.
  2. Set the speaker to play the provided sound file at 100 dB. IMPORTANT: You must wear hearing protection while conducting this test.
  3. Set your acoustic analyzer to measure the reverberation time (RT60) for the 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz frequencies.
  4. At two locations within the room, measure the RT60 at least once, and up to three times for improved accuracy.
iv. Indoor Air Quality
You will measure these elements: temperature (ºF), relative humidity (%), carbon monoxide (ppm), and carbon dioxide (ppm). Perform the required measurements while the classroom is occupied.

Measure the outdoor conditions for each elements at the beginning and end of each day that you take measurements. Within each classroom, measure each element at the air return and supply vents. If any problems are detected, having return and supply values helps to determine if the problem is occurring within the classroom or in the HVAC system more broadly.

c. Enter Classroom Data

To enter data on the website, click on the Input Classroom Data button in the My Data section of your School Dashboard. Click the Add button to add a new classroom, and enter the data from your data collection worksheets into the website. The fields will all match those on the physical sheets. You can navigate by using the buttons at the bottom of the screen, or you may skip to a specific section by clicking on the icon at the top of the page.

While entering data, be sure to click either Save and Continue Entering Data or Save and Return to Manage Classrooms in order to save your data. If you navigate away from the page in any other fashion (eg: clicking back or forward in your browser), your data will NOT be saved.

Once you have added at least one classroom, chose "edit" on the Manage Classroom Input page to edit its data or add additional data.

9. Finalize the ORC

In order to finalize your ORC, you must meet the following conditions:
  1. Pay your invoice.
  2. The end date of your occupant survey must be in the past.
  3. Certify that you have provided accurate information about your school by measuring classrooms in line with the classroom selection policy above.
Your current status for each of those three items is always available on your ORC Dashboard in the My Progress section. Once all of the conditions have been met, you will see a button to Submit and Finalize your ORC in the My Progress. Click the button, certify on the next screen that you have performed the ORC in line with these guidelines, and you are done.

Finalizing your ORC locks your data from further editing. If you find a significant error that needs to be corrected after you have finalized your ORC, you will have to contact CHPS to unlock your data. Contact if you need assistance, and explain why you would like to unlock your report card.

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