The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs strategically plans its technical assistance to showcase clean energy leadership best practices and replicable models that help maximize energy and cost savings, combat climate change, and help achieve energy justice in communities. Public-sector leaders can explore the key resources below to learn more about how to collect, analyze, monitor, and use energy and operational data to maximize energy and cost savings.
A foundational component of an effective energy strategy are programs and policies that encourage data-driven energy management. Data-driven energy management reduces wasted energy and increases the efficiency of operations, which saves organizations money, time, and resources.
Implement an Energy Data Management Program for Public Facilities
States, local governments, and K-12 school districts own and operate a variety of facilities and infrastructure that use a substantial amount of energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, state and local government buildings consume more than 3 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) annually at a cost of $29 billion per year. Additionally, the total annual energy use by municipal wastewater treatment systems in the United States is approximately 30 billion kilowatt hours, while outdoor lighting consumes approximately 1.3 quadrillion Btu annually—costing about $10 billion per year.
As a result, there is a significant opportunity for states, local governments, and K-12 school districts to realize energy and cost savings by taking a data-driven approach to energy management. For example, research shows that a typical office building can cut energy use by up to 25% by implementing no- and low-cost measures and over 45% by pursuing deeper retrofit measures. Wastewater upgrade projects can reduce total facility energy consumption by up to 50%, while lighting retrofit projects using new state-of-the-art technologies can reduce energy costs by approximately 50% over conventional lighting technologies.
Implement Building Energy Programs and Policies for Private Facilities
In addition to leading by example, state and local governments can implement programs and policies that require both public- and private-buildings in their jurisdictions to report building-level energy data and improve building performance.