The number of C40 cities introducing commercial building benchmarking policies has jumped from 12 in 2011 up to 30 in 2015. The reason behind this increase is simple: cities need more data on how energy is being consumed to formulate effective energy efficiency strategies.
Turning this data into useful information, however, can be a daunting task, which is why C40 is pleased to join the U.S. Department of Energy’s SEED Platform Collaborative.
The Department of Energy built the Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform™ to help unlock data-driven program design and implementation in the energy efficiency sector. By providing open source software the SEED Platform helps cities to manage their building data and allows them to easily combine data from multiple sources, clean and validate it, and share that information with others.
The ‘Collaborative’ element brings together state and local governments and efficiency program administrators, leading non-profits and private sector companies to support this effort. We know that to drive ambitious action on climate change more quickly – and at a lower cost – cities must share knowledge, collaborate and work with the private sector, state officials and national leaders.
“We are looking forward to working with C40 through the SEED Collaborative to advance data-driven policymaking and business decisions around energy performance in buildings,” said Elena Alschuler, Building Technologies Project Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy. “C40 recognizes that the work of collecting, managing and analyzing data is challenging yet crucial to achieving building sustainability goals. They are playing an important role in stimulating the conversation around this topic, and helping practitioners develop and share practical solutions.”
C40 cities were some of the first to introduce policies requiring buildings to report on their energy performance, and they are at the forefront of using building energy data to implement data-driven policies. Take New York City, which uses benchmark results and other data sources to monitor building performance over time and prioritise energy efficiency projects. The city evaluates the energy performance results regularly through extensive monitoring and year-to-year data analyses against benchmark baseline scores. These allow the city to identify the impact that different factors, such as energy efficiency investments, smart building management and occupant behaviour have on energy use.
The SEED Platform Collaborative is a perfect opportunity for cities to learn best practice from one another and encourages effective solutions to be scaled up.