USGBC National Capital Region would like to share a resource with its members: The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) has released Putting Data to Work, a comprehensive toolkit that guides city sustainability leadership, energy efficiency service providers, utilities and building owners in effectively deploying building energy performance data to drive savings.
Buildings in the U.S. consume so much energy that they account for more than one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction. In many buildings, this energy use and its associated costs and pollution could be cut by 30 percent or more through improved operations and use of existing technology.
As a critical first step, cities are enacting benchmarking policies to track building energy and water use, encouraging building owners to analyze and compare building performance over time. Aiding in this process, tools such as USGBC’s Arc platform and the suite of data tools and standards from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), such as the Standard Energy Efficiency Data Platform and Building Energy Data Exchange Specification, are enabling the creation of valuable data that can drive better-informed business decisions and efficiency improvements.
From spreadsheets to savings
Partially funded by the DOE, "Putting Data to Work" is the culmination of a three-year partnership between IMT and the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, as well as their partners, the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility and New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation, to examine pioneering efforts in each jurisdiction and enable others to replicate their success in reducing building energy use.
For jurisdictions with benchmarking and building performance policies, or those considering adopting them, the hands-on experience collected in the District and New York City provides a guide for using building performance data to identify efficiency opportunities. Highlights include:
- A report explaining ways that city-collected data can help identify and connect with high-priority buildings for outreach, as well as how to incorporate data into local climate and energy planning and ensure that high-quality data are collected and used.
- A resource list to help cities guide building owners to take their efficiency efforts to the next level after benchmarking, and a guide to help answer the critical question of whether energy efficiency policies and programs are having the desired impact.
- For utilities and energy efficiency service providers, methods for increasing program participation rates and lowering the cost of customer acquisition are shared. This includes a primer on the emerging uses of building energy data for utilities, a guide looking at how program administrators can use data to identify prospective customers and step-by-step guidance for engaging in conversations about energy data with building owners.