Energy Use Data Access
State and local governments can help customers obtain access to their energy use data. Energy use data is critical for optimizing building energy performance:
- Building owners need accurate data on a timely basis to benchmark and track building energy performance.
- Markets need access and transparency to use data in meaningful ways.
- Energy professionals need data to design and then to manage buildings for efficiency and performance.
- Policymakers need data to understand buildings and their markets, to shape effective policies, and to track policy impacts and effectiveness.
Key Focus Areas
Energy and cost savings in homes and businesses can be realized with the help of data-driven policy and decision making. To enable data access, SEE Action has identified two key focus areas for residential, private commercial and public buildings:
- Support data access to drive decision making. Fill potential gaps between commercial and public building benchmarking tools and accessing the utility data necessary to use those benchmarking tools through regulatory policy.
- Enable Data Access while Protecting Customer Privacy. Customers can make better decisions to manage their energy use and costs when using detailed, timely and contextual energy use information – such as data collected by smart meters – than what a typical utility bill provides. But data about customer energy use, a powerful tool capable of increasing the success of energy efficiency programs, raises security and privacy concerns that must be addressed.
SEE Action provides leading-edge information to state and local policymakers and their partners on energy use data access policies that support energy efficiency in the residential and commercial sectors. These include:
- Summarizing the range of policy approaches taken by states for providing access to customer energy use information that can be used to support and enhance the provision of energy efficiency services, while protecting customer privacy.
- Educating regulators on policy tools to enable commercial and public building owners and operators to access utility data in order to effectively evaluate and seize energy and cost savings opportunities.
- Providing policy design guidance on benchmarking and disclosure. Benchmarking is a market-based policy tool which requires the building owner, operator, or manager to measure the building’s energy performance, similar to a fuel economy rating on a vehicle. This information is then used to identify cost-effective opportunities for improvements, and can also made available to the marketplace through a direct disclosure to stakeholders (such as a tenant or a prospective lessee, investor, or lender) or by publication on a publicly accessible web site. This approach helps create a market for efficiency by making building energy performance transparent.