The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has adopted a resolution that encourages state public utility commissions to provide commercial building owners with access to whole building energy consumption data to support energy efficient building operations. The Building Owners and Managers Association, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), The Real Estate Roundtable (RER), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) are advocating the need for building owners to have access to aggregate building energy consumption data, as it concerns building owners’ ability to manage energy efficiency and comply with the growing number of state/local mandatory benchmarking and disclosure requirements.
Currently, many building owners lack access to energy consumption data for separately metered spaces in their buildings and, since the tenant 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 is not practical to obtain potentially hundreds of signatures. This resolution gives building owners and tenants the capacity to make informed decisions to drive energy efficiency improvements, while the aggregate nature of the data protects the privacy of tenants.
In order to educate key influencers and stakeholders that any benchmarking requirements imposed on building owners must include whole building data access, BOMA, IMT, RER, and USGBC formed a coalition that includes leading property management companies and other environmental groups and state policy makers and regulators.
“Building owners and their tenants depend on timely, accurate, and transparent data to benchmark energy consumption and undertake retrofits to save money through building retrofits,” said Jeffrey D. DeBoer, president and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable. “The NARUC resolution sends a strong message that building owners, utilities, and regulators must work cooperatively to bridge the energy data gap as the necessary first step to improve the efficiency of our built environment.”
“This resolution acknowledges a very real problem – getting the data necessary to put a stop to wasting energy in commercial buildings. Commercial building owners and operators are looking for opportunities to save energy, and this resolution will be very helpful in removing the barriers to allow leadership in energy efficiency in their facilities,” commented Lane Wesley Burt, P.E., technical policy director, U.S. Green Building Council.
NARUC’s resolution also includes encourages State public utility commissions to consider a comprehensive benchmarking policy that includes: use of EPA ENERGY STAR automated benchmarking services; adopting methodologies to credit program impact consistently and accurately to benchmarking-driven energy efficiency programs; and taking all reasonable measures to facilitate convenient, electronic access to utility energy usage data for building owners.