The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the publication of a high-impact, informational resources toolkit through its Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator developed in partnership with 18 cities and utilities across the nation. The Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit is a compilation of case studies, guidance and real-world best-practices adopted by cities and utilities to help building owners measure and track energy use, and benchmark the energy performance of their buildings.

“Access to energy data is important to assessing the best options for saving energy in our buildings,” said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “This Toolkit is the product of two years of work with public and private sector partners to improve this access and will be invaluable to utilities, state and local governments, real estate leaders, and other stakeholders nationwide.”

The Toolkit describes the best practices that enabled partners to provide data access solutions that benefit building owners, utilities, and state and local governments. Highlights of the Toolkit include:

  • Best Practices for Developing a Utility Whole-Building Data Access Solution: Presents best practices and case studies for utilities to develop whole-building data access systems, based on the experiences of leading utilities from across the country;
  • Stakeholder Engagement Strategy Guide: Provides guidance on designing productive stakeholder engagement and outreach to support the development of whole-building data access solutions;
  • Guide to Data Access and Utility Customer Confidentiality: Provides guidance on how policymakers, utilities, and regulators should approach whole-building data access to maintain the confidentiality of utility customers;
  • Briefing Document: Statistical Analysis of Data Access and Privacy: Summarizes the findings of a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analysis demonstrating how whole-building data aggregation thresholds statistically affect customer privacy; and
  • Beyond Benchmarking: Unlocking Value for Utilities: Presents a vision for utilities to combine whole-building data access capabilities and benchmarking outputs to improve the effectiveness of their energy efficiency programs.

The Better Buildings Energy Data Access Accelerator is a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy efficiency by making energy data more accessible to building owners. As a result of best practices developed by partners, 18 utilities serving more than 2.6 million commercial customers nationwide will provide whole-building energy data access to building owners by 2017. This historic expansion of data accessibility, announced in January 2016, will increase building energy benchmarking and improve the uptake of energy efficiency actions.

Through Better Buildings, the department aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade. Better Buildings Accelerators work with partners from many sectors to advance solutions on topics such as energy performance contracting, outdoor lighting, home energy information and upgrade programs, data centers, and industrial superior energy performance.

To learn more about Better Buildings Accelerator results and information, including the Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit, please visit the Better Buildings Solutions Center.