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Improve energy data access

Many building owners and operators would like to benchmark their buildings’ energy performance to identify opportunities to slash energy consumption and bills. But getting access to the building energy consumption data is often not possible. Divide between landlord and tenant, tenant fear of higher utility costs, lack of utility response and lack of collection infrastructure are all potential obstacles.

That’s why USGBC — in partnership with Building Owners and Managers Association, the Real Estate Roundtable and the Institute for Market Transformation — formed the Data Access and Transparency Alliance (DATA), a group that advocates for access to whole building energy consumption information.

Our strategy is multi-faceted and includes:

  • Directly engaging with local utilities and state regulatory commissions to facilitate greater data accessibility,
  • Advancing federal, state and local policies and programs that promote data accessibility,
  • Educating federal agencies, administration officials, members of Congress, state regulatory commissioners and utilities on data accessibility best practices, and
  • Partnering with public policy groups and associations in the utility sector to further our mission.

Awareness is bringing about change.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has passed a resolution in support of allowing access to whole building energy data. And utilities such as ComEd, ConEd, Avista, Seattle City Light, Austin Energy, Puget Sound Energy and Pacific Gas & Electric are piloting innovative policies and Web tools to enable data access.

USGBC advocates can play several roles in aiding commercial building owners and operators in their quest for data.

  • Initiate conversations between your local utility and a building owner or operator looking to begin benchmarking.
  • Understand the reasons a particular utility is hesitant to act and work to address them.
  • Help utilities convince their regulators of the energy savings benefits of aiding benchmarking.
  • Educate elected officials about the problem and encourage them to step in when possible.