© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: Building energy information systems (EIS) are performance monitoring software, data acquisition hardware and communication systems used to store, analyze and display building energy data. Some $60bn are spent annually on wasted energy in the US buildings, and actions taken based on EIS data can enable operational energy savings of approximately 10 per cent in the US commercial sector (approximately two quads of primary energy). However, EIS adoption is low because of various technical and market challenges. This paper aims to provide technical specifications for standardized EIS packages that can help overcome barriers and accelerate scale. Design/methodology/approach: A five-step approach was followed: identifying business drivers as key determinants for hotel sector-specific packages; addressing heterogeneity to develop standardized, tiered packages; determining performance metrics for key stakeholders; recommending streamlined data architecture; and developing visualization enabling insights and actions. Findings: Technical specifications for two tiers (entry and advanced) of EIS packages for hotels have been developed. EIS vendor, integrator and client organization’s facilities and IT staff have been considered as key stakeholders. Findings from six field demonstrations show benefits of cost-effectiveness, through reduced transactional, first and operational costs, scalability, by accommodating heterogeneity across the building sub-sector, simplicity, by integrating meters, gateways and software in the package and actionability in organizations, across various decision-making levels. Originality/value: Building owners and operators can use these specifications to ease procurement and installation of EIS in their facilities. EIS software vendors can use them to develop new product offerings for underserved sectors.