The paper describes the development of a model specification for performance monitoring systems for commercial buildings. The specification focuses on four key aspects of performance monitoring: performance metrics measurement system requirements data acquisition and archiving data visualization and reporting The aim is to assist building owners in specifying the extensions to their control systems that are required to provide building operators with the information needed to operate their buildings more efficiently and to provide automated diagnostic tools with the information required to detect and diagnose faults and problems that degrade energy performance. The paper reviews the potential benefits of performance monitoring, describes the specification guide and discusses briefly the ways in which it could be implemented. A prototype advanced visualization tool is also described, along with its application to performance monitoring. The paper concludes with a description of the ways in which the specification and the visualization tool are being disseminated and deployed.