Utilities must provide whole building energy consumption data (units of usage) to building owners and managers. Ideally, utilities should utilize EPA ENERGY STAR automated benchmarking services that allow them to upload energy consumption data directly into the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool. The inability of commercial building owners to access whole‐building energy data, including energy consumption data in separately metered tenant spaces, restricts the capacity of both building owners and tenants to make informed decisions to drive energy efficiency improvements. Whole building aggregate data provides vital information to the building owner while protecting the privacy concerns of tenants.
BOMA International has actively promoted benchmarking through EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as the key first step to understanding a building’s energy use and providing the necessary data to monitor performance, measure improvements, and implement cost‐effective improvements in buildings. However, many building owners lack access to energy consumption data for separately metered tenant spaces in their buildings and, since the tenant ‐ not the building owner ‐ owns the data, most utilities will only provide tenant energy consumption data to the owner/manager with the permission of the tenant. In a large building with many separately metered tenants, it just isn’t practical to obtain potentially hundreds of signatures.
In addition to not being able to make informed decisions to drive efficiency, buildings that cannot accurately benchmark are also unable to comply with the growing number of state/local mandatory benchmarking and disclosure requirements. Also, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires benchmarking as a prerequisite for future commercial leases signed by the federal government.
Providing the robust benchmarking information that building owners need will also benefit the energy providers by helping them to achieve their demand‐side management (DSM) goals.
BOMA International has formed a coalition which includes leading property management companies, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Real Estate Roundtable, US EPA, Institute for Market Transformation and other environmental groups and state policy makers and regulators. Collectively, we are working to educate key influencers and stakeholders such as the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the Department of Energy, and state legislators that any benchmarking requirements imposed on building owners must include whole building data access.