Putting Data to Work: Using Building Energy Performance Data to Expand the Market for Energy Efficiency in Buildings
An increasing number of state and local jurisdictions are implementing building performance reporting laws, which generate large quantities of useful data on the characteristics and resource consumption of the building stock. However, to realize the potential of these policies, the data must not only be disclosed, but put to work to drive energy savings. Under a three-year pilot, Washington DC (DC), New York City (NYC) and their partners are pioneering the use of data from building performance reporting in energy efficiency programs. To minimize the administrative burden of managing, combining, and sharing these data sets, the cities are utilizing the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) open-source Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform. The Putting Data to Work project team is working with efficiency program administrators to develop and implement new and innovative ways in which the data collected through benchmarking, energy audits, and related policies can be used to improve energy policies and planning, unlock data directly for market use, scale-up the market for energy efficiency services, drive competition, better target utility incentive programs, and inform measurement and verification. This paper details achievements and key findings in DC and NYC to date, including the importance of high compliance, data quality, and data cleansing in using the information collected; methods that the cities are using to apply data to drive maximum energy efficiency; and the importance of inter- and intra-agency collaboration in program success. The paper also outlines the path forward and details expected outcomes and scalability of project activities.