The Indian building sector has witnessed huge surge in interest in energy performance in the last decade. The ‘intention’ based codes like the national Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) and green building rating systems such as Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED-India) and Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) have been the prime mechanisms to design and assess energy efficient buildings. However, they do not rate the ‘achieved’ energy performance of buildings over time or reward their performance through a continuous evaluation process. This has serious performance, market and policy implications. On the other hand, the ‘performance’ based rating systems serve as an excellent report card. They are useful for evaluating performance of existing buildings and to set meaningful targets for new buildings using contextual data. It replaces guesswork with a methodology to establish targets, evaluate performance and reward innovations. Over time, it helps to consistently improve the standards through healthy competition by shifting markets to better performing levels. This presentation focusses on the benchmarking and performance based rating system developed for the Bureau or Energy Efficiency (BEE), Government of India under the USAID ECO-III project. We propose a regression and distribution based model supported by an online rating tool. The presentation concludes with a discussion on the challenges faced including the institutional set up for managing the program and three alternative directions of further research.