As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the Energy Department today featured 12 new partnerships with cities, counties, and states to unlock the power of building energy performance data for the purposes of informing decision making on energy efficiency opportunities in their local communities. Through the Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform Collaborative, these partners will improve the quality and consistency of building energy data and increase community-wide support to enhance management, promote transparency, and increase the value of building energy performance information.  

"The SEED Platform Collaborative assists cities and states with using building energy performance data as part of increasing energy efficiency and energy savings," said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, DOE. "Partners are fostering the building industry's transition to data driven decisions on energy efficiency."

The increase of building energy data available in the marketplace has resulted in the need for development of standardized, interoperable tools that assist stakeholders in streamlining and analyzing data in order to inform their policy and business decisions. Each three-year partnership supports improved building energy performance data and identification of opportunities for efficiency improvements in their jurisdictions. 

Partners will use the SEED Platform™ to combine data from multiple sources, clean and validate it, and share the information with others. They will also demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency, track program activities, and target investments.  The Energy Department will support partners by providing: 

  • Assistance with the initial setup and implementation of the SEED Platform
  • Ongoing technical support, business process support, complimentary hosting services
  • Access to a peer community of users and developers to share feedback and solutions 
  • Monthly meetings to give input on improvements that can be made to the Platform and share best practices. 

The 12 partners are committed to using the SEED Platform in the following ways:

  • Atlanta, Georgia will help manage incoming building energy data for their second benchmarking compliance deadline.  
  • Berkeley, California will collect and store data from their Building Energy Saving Ordinance for all buildings which will connect to other local database systems.  
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts will maintain a list of buildings that need to comply with their Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance and to manage building performance data.
  • The California Energy Commission will use the SEED Platform as part of the data infrastructure necessary to support implementation of California's Assembly Bill 802.  
  • Houston, Texas will track municipal building energy performance data and better understand their local building stock.  
  • Kansas City, Missouri will manage municipal building performance data and private building performance data during the implementation of their Energy Empowerment Ordinance.  
  • Montgomery County, Maryland will help implement their Building Energy Benchmarking Law and track building performance data.
  • New York City, New York will continue to collect building performance data from their Local Law 84 and more easily share this data between other departments.  
  • Orlando, Florida will track municipal building performance information and store information on their local commercial building stock.  
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will use the SEED Platform to help in the implementation of their Benchmarking Ordinance and create connections between the building data and internal communications platforms
  • Salt Lake City, Utah will continue to use the SEED Platform to better understand its local building stock and generate a more accurate and complete database of buildings.
  • Washington, D.C., will continue to use the SEED Platform to track and store information from their benchmarking ordinance, as well as to share the information with other agencies and other connected tools.  

"Philadelphia is happy to be participating in the SEED Collaborative to guide our efforts to reduce energy consumption, save money and protect our environment," said Christine Knapp, Director of the Office of Sustainability of the City of Philadelphia. "By partnering with other government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses on a standard software system, we'll be able to better manage building energy performance data, understand opportunities for energy-efficient investment in buildings citywide, and make data-driven policy decisions." 

As cities and states execute work plans to help implement benchmarking and building performance tracking, each will highlight proven strategies and successes through best practice sharing.  The Energy Department will feature this work in the Better Buildings Solution Center.

"California has set high goals to increase energy savings through short- and long-term energy efficiency measures," said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the Energy Commission's lead on energy efficiency. "The SEED Platform is a key enabling technology that simplifies data flows between disparate tools and programs, which greatly streamlines data management. DOE's investment in SEED facilitates the analytics that allow us to learn even more from our experiences and help ensure we are investing our limited resources where they are truly needed."

National nonprofits and industry organizations, including the Institute for Market Transformation, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, National Resources Defense Council, National State Energy Officials, and the National League of Cities, have also joined as allies to help promote the Collaborative's goals, activities, and lessons learned. 

Better Buildings aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade. This means saving hundreds of dollars on energy bills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating thousands of jobs. Through Better Buildings, public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency.  Visit the Better Buildings Solution Center to learn more about partner results, showcase projects, and innovative solutions that are being shared with others.