Data Access and Transparency Alliance
Although it seems logical that the owner or manager of a commercial building would know how much energy the structure uses, this is often not the case. Many building owners cannot access all the energy meters within their building without the consent of individual tenants, preventing them from measuring and tracking the building’s total energy consumption, and limiting their ability to evaluate energy efficiency opportunities and make improvements that save energy and money.
Convenient access to whole-building consumption data empowers more building owners and managers to:
- Identify cost-effective investments in energy efficiency that create jobs, reduce energy consumption and increase property values
- Participate in voluntary green building recognition programs such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program
- Achieve energy reduction targets outlined in the President’s Better Buildings Challenge
- Comply with building performance regulations in states and cities
- Comply with energy efficiency leasing guidelines for federal agencies
- Lower operating expenses and reduce utility bills for businesses
Increasing Whole-Building Data Access
The Data Access and Transparency Alliance (DATA) was a collaborative effort led by the commercial real estate industry and green building organizations to provide building operators with energy consumption data. DATA was led by the Institute for Market Transformation, the Building Owners and Managers Association International, Enterprise Community Partners, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Real Estate Roundtable, and the U.S. Green Building Council.
During its active period, the alliance reached out to local utilities, state regulatory commissions, federal agencies, administration officials, and public policy groups with a focus on the following core principles:
- Building owners and managers should have electronic access to whole-building energy consumption data
- The utility sector should endeavor to improve whole-building energy consumption data accessibility for building owners and managers
- Data accessibility practices should provide reasonable confidentiality protections for tenants
- ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking is a real estate energy efficiency best practice.
As part of its efforts, DATA centralized and distributed key resources, including:
- Creating Value from Benchmarking: A Utility Perspective
- DATA Fact Sheet: Benefits of Benchmarking 2013
- Supporting Automated Benchmarking of Multifamily Buildings for Energy Efficiency Purposes, NASUCA 2013 Resolution
- “Utilities’ Guide to Data Access for Building Benchmarking,” IMT and Energy Efficient Buildings Hub
- Utility Data Privacy Matrix
- Resolution on Access to Whole-Building Energy Data and Automated Benchmarking, NARUC 2011 Policy Resolution
- “Utility Best Practices Guidance for Providing Business Customers with Energy Use and Cost Data,” ICF International
- Open Energy Info (OpenEI) Utility Data Maps, U.S. Dept. of Energy
For more information, contact IMT.