OwnerJuly 2015 to presentEl Cerrito

Finding best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow: energy efficiency, demand response,, solar, wind, electric vehicles, biofuels and smart grid. It’s all the innovations that make the energy we use more secure, clean, and affordable. The energy world's best hopes lie in what's happening in the digital realm, especially in data analytics.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Water Efficiency

Water efficiency and energy efficiency go hand in hand.

Key steps to achieving water efficiency
  • Monitor water meters (invest in pulse meters to get detailed water use data)
  • Find and fix leaks – then check again soon by making sure this is integrated into your maintenance schedule
  • Install low flow shower heads in any showers used
  • Put pressure compensated flow regulators on any tap that will fit them
  • Make hot water efficiency a priority
  • Create a process and culture for reporting leaks
  • Compare WELS ratings on new items

A. Water Audits for Small and Medium Businesses
friday, october 10, 2014
Many businesses can reduce their water use substantially (30% reduction is not uncommon) through simple, low cost measures that payback within short time frames.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Mark Miner PMP
529 Sea View Drive
El Cerrito CA, 94530
(510) 219-4064

  • Introduced IT Governance and Portfolio Management processes and established PMO in a global 1000 organization.
  •  More than eight years experience managing projects across a broad range of IT solution areas including large global projects of diverse scope across functional areas and multiple systems. 
  • Expert in strategic planning and process methodologies.
  • Authority in Project Management with an in-depth understanding of PMBOK, project management methodologies and SDLC methodologies.
  •  Proven success in managing process improvement initiatives and managing change within an organization. 
  •  Adept in consultation, facilitation, and negotiation. 
  •  Extensive business experience including: e-commerce, business development, sales, trade management, market research, and decision support.

IT Governance
  • Initiated formal project governance processes for technology investment decisions. Annual project investment of $26M resulted in three year return of $45M. 
  • Aligned project portfolio to support strategic direction and transformational changes. 
  • Reduced project risk by implementing stage gate approval processes.
  • Reformed budgeting processes to give Business leaders IT budget responsibility and ownership, thereby increasing trust and cooperation between Business and IT.
  • Formulated and implemented IT communication program. 
  •  Created metrics and managed reporting dashboards for project and IT Operations.
  • Boosted commitment to project benefits by developing post implementation review processes and ensuring all projects had a formal close out.
Portfolio Management
  • Developed IT Master Plan to lead innovation and change, align demand and resources for new projects and to ensure IT investments adhered to architecture standards. 
  • Managed IT Reorganization Project. New organization was designed to serve the Business.
  • Developed, trained and implemented enterprise-wide realistic, actionable resource forecasting to align business expectations with what IT can deliver. 
  • Performed resource leveling across projects.
  • Worked closely with executive management to draft corporate objectives and strategy and translate them into IT project prioritization.
  •  Developed project roadmap recommendations to accelerate, delay, or place on hold projects based on resource availability and strategic priorities.
Project Management
  • Developed, trained, implemented and coached company wide IT project management methodology standards covering 650 personnel in 27 countries. 
  • Implemented project portfolio management software solutions: Time Reporting, Status Reporting, Plan Roadmap, Schedule Management, Financial Accounting and Resource Forecasting.
  •  Delivered CRM system from definition through launch. Managed team of 25+ including IT, business, contractor and offshore resources. 
  •  Managed project which determined how information should run business processes for a global 1000 transportation company. The new framework helped optimize the supply chain by improving integration between customer support, finance, operations, pricing and sales.
    •  Created a prioritized roadmap of projects to achieve the design. 
    • Developed service-based systems architecture to support new processes in a on a design that met regional and trade requirements within a standardized framework.
Sample Business Achievements
  • Developed and implemented e-commerce strategies to reduce cost and increase customer satisfaction. Electronic customer business transactions increased from 8% to 45% of total, reducing inbound calls per shipment by 20% and saving several million dollars annually.
    • Developed business plans for entry into new markets including Latin America and Europe and new services including customs brokerage.

Management Tools: Access, DreamWeaver, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Visio, Word
Project/ SDLC Tools: Primavera, MS Project, Project Server /, Rational Requisite Pro, Remedy
Testing/Reporting Tools: Test Director, WinRunner / Actuate, Brio, Holos, Webfocus,
Languages: C++, COBOL, HTML, Java, JSP, PowerBuilder, SQL
Data Interchange: FTP, LU 6.2, MQ, NDM, Cyclone, Mercator, ANSI x21, EDIFACT, XML
Platforms: AS400, UNIX (AIX & Solaris), WebSphere, WebLogic, Windows NT/2000/XP, z/OS
Databases: DB2, IDMS, Oracle 10g/9i/8i, SQL Server, Teradata

APL Limited, Oakland, California 1983 to 2007
IT Governance Director 2003 to 2007
Implemented IT Governance and Project Portfolio Management processes and established PMO in a global 1000 organization.

IT Program Director 2000 to 2003
Worked closely with colleagues, customers and vendors to prioritize and execute large scale transformational programs and projects to ensure maximum return on investment was achieved.

Information Exchange Director 1998 to 2000
Responsible for development and marketing of multiple communication channels with customers, partners and vendors in order to improve customer service, reduce cost and increase sales.

Marketing Director 1995 to 1998
Responsible for all research and analysis including sales, marketing, pricing product planning and business development. Owner of data warehouse supporting several thousand users

Pomona College - BA International Relations
UC Berkeley Extension - Project Management Certification Program
Project Management Institute – PMP Project Management Professional Certification

Success Stories

Process Management
Operations Management
Vendor Management
Change Management
Cross-functional Team Leadership
Contract Negotiation

IT Management
IT Strategy
Enterprise Architecture
Data Warehousing
Quality Assurance

Sales and Marketing
Marketing Strategy
Competitive Intelligence
Business Communications
Sales Management
Product Development
Market Research

Project Management
Project Management xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\x
PMP Training xxx
PMO Set up xxx
Portfolio Management xxx

Project Management
Project Management
Portfolio Management
Project Planning
Software Project Management
Program Management
Resource Management

Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning
Business Strategy
Business Planning
Business Analysis

Process Improvement
Process Improvement
Workshop Facilitation
Business Process Improvement
Supply Chain
Performance Management
Supply Chain Management
Continuous Improvement
Key Performance Indicators

ADR (Automated Demand Response)

Use Internet based electricity pricing and demand-response signals to initiate preprogrammed control strategies that provide fully automated management of building energy use.   Standards, such as OpenADR, provide a mechanism to balance the grid by automatically adjusting energy consumed by customers in real time.

1. Background
2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Benefits
5. Risks/Issues
6. Success Criteria
7. Next Steps
8. Companies
9. Links
Automated Demand Response Facilitates Communication between System Operators and Devices in the Home

  • Research indicates that consumers are ready to engage with the Smart Grid as long as their interface with the Smart Grid is simple, accessible, and in no way interferes with how they live their lives. Consumers are not interested in sitting around for an hour a day to change how their house uses energy; what they will do is spend two hours per year to set their comfort, price and environmental preferences – enabling collaboration with the grid to occur automatically on their behalf and saving money each time.

  • Customers want their Demand Response to be Automated
    • 1% would select a 10% flat rate increase to be able to use electricity at the same price any time
    • 15% prefer to manage their own TOU/CPP electricity use based on a transmitted price signal
    • 17% prefer utility dispatched direct load control
    • 67% prefer set and forget appliances that react to utility price signals (with consumer override possible)

  • Auto-DR technology enables customers, either with or without assistance from their electric service provider, to pre-program load reduction strategies into smart devices such as Energy Management and Control Systems. Once programmed, load is then automatically reduced based on communication signals from the utility without the need for any further customer intervention; although a manual over-ride option would generally be accommodated.

  • AutoDR is a communication and technology platform designed to:
    • Provide customers with automated, electronic price and reliability signals
    • Provide customers with the capability to identify and automate site specific demand response strategies

2. Acronyms/Definitions

  1. BIP - PG&E Base Interruptible Program - Reliability Response DR Program
  2. Demand Side Management - A smart grid will constantly monitor its load and (this is the smart bit) take particular consumers offline, with their prior agreement and in exchange for a lower price, if that load surges beyond a preset level

  3. DRAS - Demand Response Automation Server - Automates delivery of messages between the Utility/ISO and the Participant.

    • Communications with the DRAS should use readily available and existing networks such as the internet.

    • The DRAS interfaces should be platform independent and leverage existing standards such as XML and Web Services.

    • The DRAS communications should use a security policy that enables non-repudiation and encryption of the communications with the DRAS.

    • The DRAS should support communications with a variety of control systems that may range from a very simple EMCS (Simple DRAS client) to those with sophisticated data processing and programming capabilities (Smart DRAS client).

  4. DRMS - Demand Response Management System - Growing in popularity among energy providers for their locational dispatch functionality.

  5. Fast DR - Reduce load in a matter of minutes rather than hours or day ahead notice.  Dimming lights in 2 - 3 minutes people won't notice

  6. IDMS - Integrated Demand Side Management -  EE - Energy Efficiency, BI - Behavioral Initiatives, ES - Energy Storage, DG - Distributed Generation, AT - Advanced Technology, DR - Demand Response

  7. IEC/PAS 62746-10-1 - International Electrotechnical Commission / Publicly Available Specification - OpenADR 2.0b Profile Specification. Efforts are also underway within the IEC to address OpenADR compatibility with the Common Information Model (CIM).

  8. KYZ Pulse Splitter - xx  Now signal can go both ways   KYZ is a designation given to a relay used to create pulses for electrical metering applications. It is commonly aForm C relay. The term KYZ refers to the contact designations: K for common, Y for Normally Open, and Z for Normally Closed. When incorporated into an electrical meter, the relay changes state with each rotation (or half rotation) of the meter disc. Each state change is called a "pulse." When connected to external equipment, rate of use (kW) as well as total usage (kWh) can be determined from the rate and quantity of pulses.

  9. LCO – Load Control Object - Provides an interface to execute predetermined control actions and to view current load shed status. Load Control object does not specify how the electrical consumption is to be reduced or how consumption baselines should be determined.

  10. Load Leveling - Reduction in demand to avoid monthly peak demand charges

  11. OpenADR - a web-services based communications data model designed to facilitate sending and receiving of DR signals from a Utility or independent system operator (ISO) to electric customers. (See Demand Response Standards Blog)

  12. OpenADR Profiles
    • 1.0
    • 2.0a - Does not facilitate real-time meter reading
    • 2.0b -  eatures ability to communicate real-time meter data through the DRAS, then back to the business.
       Combination of devices will be used.

  13. OpenHAN - Defines a set of common requirements for HANs intended to be used by utilities. It is led by utilities and aimed at the residential space. (See Demand Response Standards Blog)

  14. SB 1414 - California Senate Bill 1414 (Wolk) – Demand Response - Requires: (1) the California Public Utilities Commission to establish demand response programs and tariffs of investor-owned utilities; and (2) all load serving entities to maintain demand response resources. This legislation as currently drafted would enable the potential application of the Cost Allocation Mechanism to demand response programs.  The bill passed through the Assembly Floor on August 26, 2014 and was signed into law by the Governor on September 2, 2014.
  15. Snapback - Event recovery period.  Want to come back down slowly, so as not t create a new peak after the event is over

  16. VEN - Virtual End Node - aka DRAS Client - Customers with OpenADR 2.0 Certified VENs can establish a single “Lead” VEN to parse event signals and communicate them to “Resource” VENs connected to individual facilities’ controls systems
    Eligible Client Architecture – Lead/Resource
    Allows customers with multiple facilities to have one point of access and still respond to complex event signals that may involve any subset of their facilities

  17. VTN – Virtual Top Node - Typically an OpenADR server used by utilities or aggregators

3. Business Case

  • When the need for a demand side change arises (whether electrical power consumption should be reduced or increased), the OpenADR 2.0 server creates an OpenADR 2.0 event message, which can contain a variety of information identifying the target energy resources, the type of curtailment or energy adjustment, and other scheduling functions. The OpenADR 2.0 client receives the message and acts upon it. The energy resource on the client side can also opt in or out of the DR event, and provide feedback back to the client. The entire interaction happens over an existing Internet connection and completes in milliseconds.

  • Reducing peak demand in America by a mere 5% would yield savings of about $66 billion over 20 years, according to Ahmad Faruqui of the Brattle Group, a consultancy that has worked with utilities on designing and evaluating smart-meter pilot programs. Moreover, studies have shown that the best in-home smart-grid technologies can achieve reductions in peak demand of up to 25%, which would result in savings of more than $325 billion over that period.

  • In making real-time grid response a reality, automated demand response makes it possible to reduce the high cost of meeting peak demand. It gives grid operators far greater visibility into the system at a finer “granularity,” enabling them to control loads in a way that minimize the need for traditional peak capacity. In addition to driving down costs, it may even eliminate the need to use existing peaker plants or build new ones – to save everyone money and give our planet a breather.

  • Process
    1. The utility assess the need for an ‘event’
    2. A Web Service message is initiated – standard Demand Event XML
    3. Receiving system ‘interprets’ message
    4. Event sequence initiated at building level
    5. Building enters change in state – normal -> load shed
    6. Building reports back status – yes, entered load shed
    7. Building reports power usage change

  • Features
    • Continuous and Reliable - Provides continuous, secure, and reliable 2 way communications infrastructure.
    • Translation - Translates DR events into continuous internet signals
    • Automation - Receipt of signal designed to initiate automation
    • Opt-Out - Provides opt-out or override function
    • Complete Data Model – Describes model and architecture to communicate price, reliability, and other DR activation signals.
    • Scalable – Provides scalable architecture scalable
  • Top ADR Strategies
    • Temperature Reset
    • Limit or Shut Off Lighting
    •  Shut Down Irrigation Pumps
    • Curtail Industrial Processes (manufacturing)
    • Curtail Municipal Water Pumping
    • Curtail Refrigeration Load (cold storage)
    • Cycle Off Rooftop Package Units (HVAC)
    • Curtail Battery Chargers (forklifts, carts, manufacturing)
    • Limit Air Handler Fan Speeds
    • Limit Demand On or Turn Off Chillers (HVAC)
    • Limit Demand On or Shut Down Air Compressors
    • Shut Down Exhaust Fan / Dust Collectors

Automated Demand Response Information Flows

4. Benefits
  • Resource Management - Feedback allows grid operator to see the load shed in real time
  • Load Leveling - Results of the LBL tests show that AutoDR-enabled buildings can achieve an average peak demand reduction of 10 to 14 percent

  • Shorter Lead Time – Dynamic Pricing Options - CPP and PTR - usually require notification a day in advance of the DR event occurrence (See Blog Article). Auto-DR is an enabling technology which can facilitate end-use load response within a much shorter timeframe. Therefore, pricing options coupled with enabling technology can respond to DR events with an hour notification.

  • Facilitate Intermittent Renewables - DR can help integrating intermittent resources as long as program design and technology need to evolve to allow DR use more than in a few stress hours per year

  • Taps Consumer Market - Facilitates “shallow DR” which allowing more customers to participate. An EMCS can trim 5-10% of load, and do this with intelligent strategies that minimize occupant discomfort

  • Visibility (telemetry): System Operator needs to know about DR’s actual performance in order to adjust its short-term dispatch.
  • Benefits to Business
    • Reduce peak demand energy costs
    • Lower operating costs—increased property value
    • Prepare businesses for dynamic pricing
    • Greater facility control and monitoring
    • Easier participation in DR events

Small loads represent 71% of the DR opportunity in PG&E's service territory. Without new smart grid technology, this market is not available.

5. Risks/Issues
  • Security - Simply put, most facilities don't want to open their building automation system firewalls to commands coming from the outside. OpenADR has gotten around that problem by setting up servers at customer sites that "poll" the network to search for OpenADR commands, she said. That's like inviting approved messages in, rather than trying to screen all calls.

  • Difficult to Use - Many customers would only be interested in demand response if it were very easy to use, since the delta in cost is too small for them to spend much time or effort in it.

  • No Common Pricing Model Standard - The need for a common pricing model crosses all domains that use price. Price is more than a simple number; it carries market context, and information such as quantity, units, time for use, and characteristics including source type and potentially carbon characteristics. A common and interoperable pricing model is a key to Demand-Response systems, Dynamic Pricing in all its forms, and energy markets and trading including forward markets.

  • Complex Tariff Structures and Content - To fully understand a price one needs to fully understand thousands of pages of tariffs for each jurisdiction. Driving toward simplified tariffs or at minimum machine-readable descriptions of tariffs would lead to more efficient markets.

  • Lack of Standards for the DR signals to DER devices. - There are competing standards and specifications that include OpenADR, NAESB, and others. A common standard for communicating to both load control and supply control devices will help accelerate DR implementations at the utilities and DER device manufacturing with products.

  • Market information is currently not available to the customer domain. Without this information, customers cannot participate in the wholesale or retail markets. In order to include customers in the electricity marketplace, they need to understand when opportunities present themselves to bid into the marketplace and how much electricity is needed. Once a bid is made, the contractual obligation to commit the accepted amount of electricity for the set period of time needs to also be communicated in a standard way.

  • Managing DER Devices is Manual - As DER devices become pervasive and consumers can buy them at retail stores, the complexity of provisioning and tracking all the DER devices must be automated. The DERs may be provisioned at the premise energy management system (EMS) and allow the EMS to aggregate and report total premise DER baseline capabilities. Or the DERs may announce themselves to the service provider or utility or perhaps even the ISO. Both of these approaches use device discovery and profiles. Regardless, these reporting and management issues need to be resolved and an automated mechanism for announcing, configuring, and removing devices must be standardized or we limit opportunities for wide-spread adoption of DER and limit the amount of efficiency we can create in the system. Measurement and verification of demand reduction is of growing importance, with many issues such as what is the baseline, or is the device actually off. (See Distributed Energy Resources Blog Article)

6. Success Criteria
  • At the residential level, demand response must be simple, “set-it-and-forget-it” technology, enabling consumers to easily adjust their own energy use. Equipped with rich, useful information, consumers can help manage load on-peak to save money and energy for themselves
  • Client-server architecture - uses open interfaces to allow interoperability with publish and subscribe systems. Internet is available at most large facilities
  • Tariff design to enable consumers and manufacturer understanding of benefits and business cases.
  • Quantify value of home / device response
  • Appliance / device manufactures determine how their products can respond handle the consumer interface relative to their products and consumer preferences
  • Consumer incentives (purchase & cost of ownership)
  • Automation: need fast, continuous and confirmed response to over/under forecast deviations of intermittent generation
  • Allow grid operator to see the load shed in real time
  • People buildings - Offices, retail, hotels, education, hospital = Goal with DR: reduce load without noticeably reducing comfort
  • Process facilities - Manufacturing, cold storage, pumping applications = Goal with DR: reduce load with acceptable reduction in productivity 

7. Next Steps
  1. Develop and standardize a pricing model – NIST plans to work with IEEE, IEC, OASIS, ASHRAE, NAESB and other relevant SDOs to develop an approach for developing a common pricing model to traverse the entire value chain. The model must include price, currency, delivery time, and product definition.

    The need for a common pricing model crosses all domains that use price. Price is more than a simple number; it carries market context, and information such as quantity, units, time for use, and characteristics including source type and potentially carbon characteristics. A common and interoperable pricing model is a key to Demand-Response systems, Dynamic Pricing in all its forms, and energy markets and trading including forward markets.

    The complexity of tariff structures and content means that to fully understand a price one needs to fully understand thousands of pages of tariffs for each jurisdiction. Driving toward simplified tariffs or (at minimum) machine-readable descriptions of tariffs would lead to more efficient markets. For example, the machine-readable tags for end user license agreements have simplified licensing decisions; a similar markup language for tariffs would allow better decisions in markets without implicit knowledge beyond price.

  2. Develop market signal standards – NIST plans to organize a meeting with policy makers, market operators/ISOs, and standards committees to develop common syntax and semantics for communicating market opportunities through the value chain and all the way to the customer. The effort shall develop policies that protect customers, but allow them to participate in the market. This is not an immediate need, but is something that requires a lot of thought and situational analysis.

  3. Develop DER discovery and profiling standards – NIST plans to coordinate a meeting with IEC TC57, OASIS, NAESB, and AMI-ENT for developing standard mechanisms for DER device discovery and profiling, persistence checks, and registry updates. The effort shall develop standard mechanisms for DER device discovery and profiling, persistence checks, and registry updates.

  4. Develop or adopt standard DR signals – NIST plans to organize a meeting with IEC TC57, OASIS, NAESB, and AMI-ENT to specify a process for developing a common semantic model for standard DR signals. The effort shall ensure DR signal standards support load control, supply control, and environmental DERs

  5. Field Testing - Only through large-scale field programs spanning many years, can answers to these questions emerge.

  6. Title 24 2013 - In California, the 2014 Title 24 energy code contains new requirements for demand responsive controls and equipment capable of receiving and automatically responding to a standards-based messaging protocol for automated demand response. This regulatory requirement applies to newly constructed or renovated buildings over 10,000 square feet. Equipment impacted includes energy management systems, lighting controls and thermostats.

    alifornia's investor owned utilities are using OpenADR as the basis for their AutoDR programs, so the new Title 24 requirement should result in significant growth in California starting this year.

8. Companies/Organizations
  • Akuacom, San Rafael, CA, purchased by Honeywell in May 2010 and will be part of the Honeywell Building Solutions unit, part of the Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions business group.

    The software company developed PG&E’s OpenADR communications infrastructure. The demand response automation server at the core of the infrastructure is based on a close partnership between Berkeley Lab and Akuacom.

  • Energy Solutions - Oakland, CA - Manages PG&E's DR Program
  • Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) is currently testing renewable intermittency using an OpenADR-based architecture.

  • Honeywell, (NYSE: HON) the controls giant, is using an $11.4 million Department of Energy smart grid grant it won in 2009 to build an OpenADR-based system with utility Southern California Edison. The Honeywell project seeks to automate the utility's Critical Peak Pricing program, which offers commercial and industrial customers lower rates and credits for turning down their power use during the few hot summer days when demand is at its highest. About 700 commercial and industrial customers are to participate.

  • Integral Analytics, Cincinnati, OH - Their IDROP Software (Integrated Dispatchable Resource Optimization Portfolio) uses the Smart Grid in a novel approach – to allow the utility to proactively manage the customers within the Smart Grid in a manner much like the utility has treated their generation resources. Specifically, IDROP allows the utility to optimize at a systems level, the micro-dispatch of appliances, electric vehicles, photovoltaic generation, wind generation, and distributed storage units, such that the utility can maximize its value, given customer-established constraints, cost of service, compliance histories, expected load, and market prices.

  • You get a sense of the scale of the problem when you realize how much data the system has to juggle. First, think about all the data from smart meters and smart sensors. Then think about all the data that needs to be taken into account for the network -- historical usage patterns, weather forecasts, wind and solar forecasts, transformer characteristics, feeder characteristics, distributed storage characteristics and much more. Then think about the data for each and every customer:
    • Customer parameters (such as historical usage and likelihood of opting out of a DR event)
    • Comfort parameters (for instance, how much temperature variation each customer will tolerate)
    • Appliance parameters and duty cycles (for instance, how often you can cycle an air conditioner without voiding the warranty)
    • Electric vehicle parameters (time to a full charge, time until next likely use, owner preferences, etc.)

  • Imagine that mountain of data. Now imagine analyzing and optimizing it in real time. It’s the ultimate balancing act. It will eventually require us to fine tune millions of appliances minute by minute while also responding to hundreds of thousands of fluctuating solar panels and wind generators.
  • Open ADR Alliance - Morgan Hill, CA - The mission of the OpenADR Alliance is to foster the development, adoption, and compliance of the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) standards through collaboration, education, training, testing and certification.  members

    Open ADR standard is available

9. Links

  1. PIER Demand Response Research Center at Lawrence Berkeley Lab
  2. Connectivity Week 2009 - Automating Demand Response
  3. PIER Demand Response Research Center - Demand Response R&D Symposium: Poster Presentations November 30, 2004
  4. OpenADR WebsitePIER/LBL
  5. UCA Open Smart Grid (OpenSG) Docs:
  6. EPRI Report: Concepts to Enable Advancement of Distributed Energy Resources, February 2010,
  7. OpenADR not just a "California technology" By Barry Haaser, Managing Director, OpenADR Alliance, July 30, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Building Energy Perforrmance

Nine cities and two states in the U.S. have passed laws requiring the benchmarking & disclosure of energy use in buildings. More governments look to follow their lead, expecting these policies to drive investment in efficiency and strengthen market demand for EE by reducing informational barriers

Navigate this Report
Back to Energy Efficiency Index
1. Background

2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Benefits
5. Risks/Issues
6. Success Criteria
7. Case Studies
8. Companies/Organizatons
9. Links

  • Almost five billion square feet already covered under building benchmarking ordnances in major cities across the country.   If you add California and Washington transaction-based  requirements, all properties that may need to comply, you get up to about 11 billion feet.
US Energy Disclosure Policies 2007 - 2014  Source:

2. Acronyms/Definitions
  1. AB 1103 -  California Assembly Bill 1103 mandates disclosure of a building’s energy usage data and Portfolio Manager benchmark score of the previous year to prospective buyers of a commercial building, to prospective lessees of an entire building, and to lenders financing an entire building.

    Assemblywoman Lori Saldana authored Assembly  Bill 1103, which was approved by the Governor in October  2007. The statute requires electric and gas utilities  to maintain energy use data and provide it to  nonresidential building owners upon request. Additionally, the statute requires  nonresidential building owners or operators to disclose  Energy Star Portfolio Manager benchmarking data and  ratings for the most recent 12-month period to a  prospective buyer, lessee or lender.

    So then, Assembly Bill 531 was approved in  October 2009 as a follow up to AB 1103, which amended  the Public Resources Code to allow the California Energy Commission to manage the implementation schedule for AB  1103. Regulations were adopted by the California  Energy Commission in October 2013. AB 1103 implementation for buildings, 10,000 square feet and greater, began January 1st, 2014.

    Building Energy Performance monitoring supports continuous improvement, but AB1103 is really a one-time thing at a transaction and may be too late in the process to provide a lot of benefit to buyers and sellers,    A relatively small set of buildings  are sold, leased, and re-fied, refinanced in any given  year or period of time. So, there’s a much broader market for this than just what is being treated by 1103.

    AB 1103  allow for energy use estimation to protect real estate transactions so its  data accuracy may be questionable.

  2. ABS - Automated Benchmarking Service - works with Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager and enables building owners to identify poorly performing buildings and provides baseline data and the means for comparing performance of similar buildings. Building owners can enter building data for benchmarking building energy performance. Once this is established, utilities can then upload the last 12 months of usage data and continue monthly uploads without any extra effort by building owners through the ABS.

  3. Asset Rating - Assesses the theoretical energy performance of the physical envelope and major systems of a facility under standard conditions, using energy modeling software and diagnostic  tests. Under this rating system, a facility’s energy use is estimated and then compared to the projected energy efficiency of a reference building based on observed architectural and building systems characteristics.   Unlike operational ratings, asset ratings can provide information about specific equipment or areas of a building that could help improve building energy use.

    1. The proposed California Building Energy Asset Rating System (BEARS) tool, which is currently under development, is an example of an asset rating benchmarking tool. 
    2. Other examples include EPA’s Target finder tool that enables architects and building owners to set energy consumption targets needed to receive an EPA energy performance score during the building design phase.
    3.  The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is an example of a residential asset rating tool.

  4. bEQ - Building Energy Quotient - An ASHRAE building energy rating program that provides information on a building's energy use. Two separate workbooks, one evaluating As Designed potential and the other assessing In Operation performance, form the foundation of bEQ. bEQ rests on ASHRAE methodologies and standards and the experience of qualified practitioners.

  5. Building Benchmarking - The rating of the relative energy efficiency of a building compared to its peers, and in many cases also includes making this information known to consumers.

  6. CBECS - Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey - Conducted about once every four years by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). New CBECS data will be available in late 2015, when EIA releases the results of its 2012 survey. To learn how EPA will use this information, view the May 2014 recorded webinar,Planning for Updates to the 1 to 100 ENERGY STAR Score with 2012 CBECS Data.

  7. EUI - Energy Use Intensity - expresses a building’s energy use as a function of its size or other characteristics. For most property types in Portfolio Manager, the EUI is expressed as energy per square foot per year. It’s calculated by dividing the total energy consumed by the building in one year (measured in kBtu or GJ) by the total gross floor area of the building.

    Typical EUI Values  Source:  Energy Star Portfolio Manager
    EPA has determined that source energy is the most equitable unit of evaluation. Source energy represents the total amount of raw fuel that is required to operate the building. It incorporates all transmission, delivery, and production losses. By taking all energy use into account, the score provides a complete assessment of energy efficiency in a building.

    Site energy is the amount of heat and electricity consumed by a building as reflected in your utility bills. Looking at site energy can help you understand how the energy use for an individual building has changed over time.

    Site energy may be delivered to a building in one of two forms: primary or secondary energy. Primary energy is the raw fuel that is burned to create heat and electricity, such as natural gas or fuel oil used in onsite generation.Secondary energy is the energy product (heat or electricity) created from a raw fuel, such as electricity purchased from the grid or heat received from a district steam system. A unit of primary and a unit of secondary energy consumed at the site are not directly comparable because one represents a raw fuel while the other represents a converted fuel.

    Therefore, to assess the relative efficiencies of buildings with varying proportions of primary and secondary energy consumption, it is necessary to convert these two types of energy into equivalent units of raw fuel consumed to generate that one unit of energy consumed on-site. To achieve this equivalency, EPA uses source energy.

    When primary energy is consumed on site, the conversion to source energy must account for losses that are incurred in the storage, transport, and delivery of fuel to the building. When secondary energy is consumed on site, the conversion must account for losses incurred in the production, transmission, and delivery to the site. The factors used to restate primary and secondary energy in terms of the total equivalent source energy units are called the source-site ratios.
    Site vs. Source Energy   Source: Energy Star Portfolio Manager

  8. Normalization - To make comparisons meaningful, benchmarking tools normalize a number of critical factors that drive energy consumption. These factors include but are not limited to local climate conditions, occupancy, hours of operation, age of structures, plug loads and others.

  9. Operational Ratings - Use a combination of basic information about a building and 12 months of energy consumption data to determine a building’s EUI at a particular point in time and, where available, to rate the building’s energy efficiency against similar types of buildings in a state or nation. Operational rating systems provide an indication of actual energy use and account for factors such as hours of use, occupancy, plug loads, maintenance of equipment and other behavioral factors. Operational rating tools typically do not provide enough information to help identify specific improvements needed in a particular building. However, they can help those responsible for multiple buildings to pinpoint specific buildings in a portfolio of buildings for further investigation. Operational tools typically do not require a site visit, which is normally required for asset rating tools.
    1. ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an operational rating benchmarking tool.  
    2. Another example of an operational benchmarking tool is ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient (BEQ) tool.

  10. Portfolio Manager - Energy Star Portfolio Manager -  An online interactive energy management tool created by the EPA that allows users to track and assess energy and water consumption of their commercial building or portfolio of buildings.    All of the places that have adopted building energy peformance are leveraging Portfolio Manager.   It’s under- appreciated how much this has help that it’s standard acr free, a lot of the market knows how to use it  already, things that have been critical to the success.

    If you look at Europe, where this is required by the commission, basically energy rating for all their  buildings, in the 26 or 28 member states, each one of  them has different schemes, different rating schemes,  different requirements, different tools.So, what was intended to bring some standardization across the European markets has almost totally failed.

    The tool helps facility owners and operators to identify under-performing buildings relative to peer buildings, prioritize buildings for energy efficiency investment, track energy improvements, and obtain EPA recognition for superior energy performance of buildings. To help facility owners and operators assess the energy performance of buildings, Portfolio Manager rates qualified buildings on a scale of 1 to 100. A score of 75 means that the energy performance of a user’s building is better than 75 percent of all similar buildings nationwide.   Buildings that are unable to receive a score can obtain a measure of energy use intensity, or EUI.

    Portfolio Manager is the  standard national platform for benchmarking energy use in commercial buildings in the United States. As of December 2013:
    • Accessed by more than 70,000 accounts
    • Used to track more than 325,000 buildings, representing more than 30 billion square feet of commercial and institutional building space in the U.S.
    •  Adopted by leading commercial real estate, retail, healthcare, and educational organizations
    • Incorporated in state and local mandatory benchmarking laws
    • Required for use in buildings owned and occupied by US Federal Agencies
    • Selected by the Canadian Government as the platform for their national energy management program for existing commercial and institutional buildings

    Among the more than 80 property types built into Portfolio Manager, the 18 listed below are eligible to receive a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score,
  11. Web Services - Some utilities use Portfolio Manager Web Services to take it to scale and allow their customers to request the download of their energy data into their Portfolio Manager accounts.
Almost half web services buildings are in PG&E service territory Source: Leslie Cook and Tracy Narel EPA 


3. Business Case
  • The average commercial building wastes 30 percent of the energy it consumes. That means that if you haven’t done anything to save energy, chances are, you’ll find many opportunities to improve.

    And there’s more good news: You don’t have to spend money to save energy. Start with no- and low-cost improvements, and then use savings to pay for more extensive upgrades.
  • Process
    • The first step in assessing your building’s energy use is creating an ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager account.
    • Add your facility, identify your building space(s), and identify meters (i.e., using Service Account Number). Name, Address, Year Built, Number of buildings
    • Specific requirements, based on building type.  Typically includes number of workers, weekly hours of operation
    • Select your gas and electric providers
    • Input utility specific required data at the Automated Benchmarking Service console.
      Submit request for energy consumption data to utility.  Complete Permission to Release Utility Data agreement.     Representing entire property, not just common area
    • Log into ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager the next business day for meter data and initial benchmarking results.
Energy Codes and Benchmarking are complementary policies impacting a building at different times over its lifecycle.   Source: IMT

4. Benefits
  • Reduce energy and carbon -  by strengthening market demand for energy efficiency,  building awareness with building owners and operators about opportunities to improve efficiency.

  • Create jobs 

  • Correlation with Energy Efficiency Improvements 
    • In 2012, an EPA analysis of 35,000 benchmarked buildings around the U.S. found that benchmarked buildings experienced, on average, 2.4% energy savings annually. Buildings that benchmarked for three years running saw an average energy savings of 7% during that same period.

    • A 2012 report by the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College School of Public Policy found that energy benchmarking in commercial properties could reduce national energy consumption by 5.6 percent in 2035.

    • Another 2012 report, commissioned by the California Public Utilities Commission, found that benchmarking was highly correlated with building energy improvements and management actions, and was a strong catalyst for customer participation in utility clean energy rebate and incentive programs.

  • Continuous Improvement - According to EPA’s DataTrends Series, buildings that consistently benchmark energy performance realize average energy savings of 2.4% annually.

  • Reward Good Performers - Enables high-performing buildings to achieve greater occupancy rates, rents, and property values

  • Identification and Improvement of Poorly Performing Buildings - Accord to the above 2012 EPA study, buildings that start with lower ENERGY STAR scores and higher energy use achieve the greatest savings. In fact, buildings starting with below average energy efficiency in 2008 (i.e., score under 50) saved twice as much energy as those starting above average.

  • Financial Savings -  The EPA study above found organizations benchmarking consistently in Portfolio Manager have achieved average energy savings of 2.4% per year, over a three year period.    A savings of 2.4% for three consecutive years is equivalent to the following: 
    •  For a 500,000 square foot office building:  Cumulative energy cost savings of $120,000 Increase in asset value of over $1 million 
    •  For a medium box retailer with 500 stores:  Cumulative energy cost savings of $2.5 million.  Increase in sales of 0.89% 
    •  For a full service hotel chain with 100 properties: Cumulative energy cost savings of $4.1 million.  Increase in revenue per available room of $1.41
    •  For an 800,000 square foot school district: Cumulative energy cost savings of $140,000 .  Salary of 1.2 full time teachers each year

    • If all buildings in the U.S. followed a similar trend, over 18 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents could be saved each year.

  • Make Government Smarter - Improved Policy Making - Enable policymakers to craft data-driven EE policy for buildings.  Everybody can agree nobody wants governments crafting policy in areas that they know very little about.  The information that is now being reported to governments is going to help them design policies that are much smarter, respond better to conditions and, hopefully, allow governments to do more efficiency with fewer taxpayer dollars.

    Governments have, historically, known very little about real estate markets, and even building stocks and ownership profiles.   Governments are beginning to analyze the data that they have coming to them

  • Expand Energy Transparency - Indirect Benefit ,but in some cities that the goal  is transparency in and of itself, which is different. If you think about it as the goal of like a nutritional  label on food, the value there is simply to convey information, and it’s not tied to dependent outcomes, such as decline in the obesity rate throughout the country.

  • Linkage with Rebate Programs - The CPUC commissioned a study a couple of years ago that found a correlation between benchmarking and improved enrollment rates in the utility incentive and rebate programs, which we think is potentially a very consequential finding.

  • Transparency -Public disclosure;  promoting transparency within energy performance puts pressure on building owners to ensure their buildings are competitive compared with their peers.   Since benchmarking and transparency policies raise awareness of a building’s performance in the marketplace, they can lead to several positive and likely outcomes:
    • A building owner will be motivated to make investments before a future sale or lease, making their building more competitive.
    • A new tenant can request changes that will improve the efficiency of a leased space as part of negotiated tenant improvements.
    • The new purchaser of a building can choose to renovate it, including making improvements that will increase energy performance.

Some utilities provide building owners aggregated energy use for a few as two tenants, while others require as many as five  Source: Institute for Market Transformation

5. Risks/Issues
  • Data Availability - Benchmarking the energy performance of a building requires utility data on energy use; however, that data is often difficult for owners and managers to obtain.

    • Separate meters - Building owners cannot access energy meters in buildings where tenants are billed directly for energy without authorization from those tenants.

    • Manual data collection - Securing authorization from tenants to release the data, or collecting it monthly from individual tenants, can be time-intensive and procedurally difficult.
    • Utility data policies - Many utilities have rigorous rules and privacy policies governing the direct release of customer energy data to third parties.

  • Data Mobility - the benchmarking data that is being disclosed is not yet very mobile and it’s not yet very visible.   Cities, and states in some cases, are  setting up websites.

  • Privacy Requirements - California's laws and regulations regarding the privacy of energy use data constrain benchmarking of commercial buildings in the state. In an attempt to comply with current laws and regulations concerning privacy, IOUs have required owners of multi-tenant buildings to obtain legal authorization from each tenant with a meter in the building in order to use the utility ABSs with Portfolio Manager.

  • On May 5, 2014, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) issued D0405016, - "The Decision  Adopting Rules to Provide Access to Energy Usage and  Usage Related Data While Protecting Privacy of Personal  Data"    This decision adopts rules that provide access to energy usage and usage-related data to local government entities, researchers, and state and federal agencies when such access is consistent with state law and CPUC procedures that protect the privacy of consumer data. 
    1. directs the provision of data containing “covered information,” including personal information, to the University of California and other nonprofit educational institutions for research purposes as long as the institutions requesting data conform to the processes and requirements set forth in this decision.

    2.  Directs the utilities to post, starting 180 days from or the issuance of this decision, and on a quarterly basis thereafter, the total monthly sum and average of customer electricity and natural gas usage by zip code (when the zip code meets specified aggregation standards) and by customer class, as well as the number of customers in the zip code by customer class (i.e. residential, commercial, industrial, and agriculture).

    3. Directs utilities to make available to local governments yearly, quarterly, and monthly usage and usage-related data by data request when the data request meets certain requirements on aggregation and anonymization and restrictions on use and disclosure. Local government may request data by census block group or other grouping that it finds helpful.

    4. Directs utilities, after informing the Commission, to provide energy data to State and federal government entities that need data to fulfill statutory obligations and request such data pursuant to this decision. The provision of energy usage data pertaining to low-income participants in EE programs to the California Department of Community Services and Development is approved.

    5. Creates a process whereby entities can request energy usage and usage-related data from utilities and receive action on the request and resolution of disputes over access to data.

    6. Directs the formation of an Energy Data Access Committee to advise the utilities on process improvements and best practices related to data access and help mediate disagreements between the utilities and data requesters.

    7. This decision also considers 12 "use cases" that constituted specific requests for energy consumption data and answers each request.

  • Plug Loads - The energy consumption of non-regulated loads, such as computers and other plug loads, is rising, threatening to negate the gains made by energy codes. With that in mind, many believe that it is necessary for energy codes to evolve toward performance requirements. If they do so, builders and designers can maintain flexibility while meeting more stringent energy efficiency targets.

  • Awareness by tenants  is very low.  Ideally, the businesses and the residents in 2 multi-family buildings and commercial buildings are using this information as part of the decision making process. We’re not really seeing that, yet.

  • Confusing Metrics -  Energy metrics can be a very tough thing to convey well to markets.  The EPA metrics, including the 1 to 100 score are very good, but as these policies mature and as we expect them to be impacting broader segments of the market we need to be thinking about the best way to communicate the value.

6. Success Criteria
  1. Don't Over Regulate Smaller Buildings - Cities have really coalesced around a building size threshold that runs 25,000 square feet to 50,000  feet, so the focus is on medium and larger buildings.   What the cities have basically come to is that  they want to start with larger buildings, understanding  that these are the owners and operators that are more  savvy and in a better position to comply   before moving further down the market into  smaller buildings with much different ownership and  management profiles.

  2. Help Centers - Set up benchmarking compliance help centers, with actual people there, where the market could call in and ask questions about the regulation, could get help getting started benchmarking.

  3. Integrate into Existing Business Processes - Get it into existing information databases that the industry uses, such as CoStar.

  4. Find Creative Ways to Provide Tenant Aggregated Data to Building Owners - Data access being supported by utilities, they are aggregating multiple customer accounts within a building together and giving that information as a lump sum to the building owner or  manager, with the hope that it masks privacy and  confidentiality of any individual tenant. But it gives the owner/manager enough to conveniently gather the information they need to benchmark

  5.  SMART exemptions, opting people out of  the market disclosure if they have poor scores, in  return for enrolling in programs that will help them get  to savings, in exchange for enrolling in utility incentive programs.  Using benchmarking disclosure  policies to channel building owners that need help with  efficiency into programs that can give them that help. 5 And that’s very different than how these policies have  been set up today.

  6. Cross Fertilization - There are ways to tie in the help centers,  help get incentives in front of these owners, help get them into other programs, help put financing programs that the cities and states have crafted in front of them, like PACE and On-Bill.

  7. Managing Big Data - The most disruptive change from these laws I think will be the data that is being generated, and given to the market, and to governments.  In New York, two and a half billion feet is covered. In Chicago, a billion feet of space is covered.This is information at the building level on a  scale that the country just has not seen before.

  8. Integrate Energy Codes & Energy Performance - Eventually, the line between energy codes, which regulate physical attributes, and building performance policies, which help regulate operating characteristics, may have to be eliminated. This could lead to the development of a true “energy performance” code, which would consider not just building design and construction quality but how well the completed and occupied building actually performs.

7. Case Studies

Source: Institute for Market Transformation

  • About half of these adoptions  have occurred within the last 24 months; the trend is accelerating.

  • Importantly, after 2010 there’s been no  adoption that has been transacted-based. So, you’re really seeing a shift and a move into public disclosure,  where the market reports information to the city, or the country, or the state and then that gets posted on a  public website.

  • New York City Local Law 84, part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, requires all privately-owned properties with individual buildings more than 50,000 square feet (sq ft) and properties with multiple buildings with a combined gross floor area more than 100,000 sq ft to annually measure and submit their energy and water use data to the City.

    The entirety of the Greener Greater Buildings Plan, which New York City passed,  which it’s disclosure, plus audits, and  retro-commissioning, and other measures.
  • Chicago - Building Energy Benchmarking 

  • San Francisco - Ordinance requiring owners of commercial buildings of at least 10,000 square feet to conduct an energy audit every five years and benchmark the energy performance annually.

  • Austin, Texas is the only locality that has  a single-family audit  requirement tied to the time of sale. This is for single-family homes. It has been in effect for a couple of years, now. They also have a mandatory upgrade requirement for multi-family buildings of five units or more, if the multi-family building uses significantly more energy than the average multi-family building in the Austin Energy service territory.
Source: Institute for Market Transformation

8. Companies/Organizations
  1. DATA - Data Access and Transparency Alliance - Works with utilities, regulators, and policymakers to improve accessibility; to advance policies and programs with this objective; and to inform government agencies, members of Congress, utilities, and utility commissions about best practices. Members include Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), the Real Estate Roundtable, and the U.S. Green Building Council,

    With DATA’s support, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) adopted a resolution in 2011 calling on state regulators to facilitate better access for building owners to whole-building energy consumption data.

  2. ICP - Investor Confidence Project of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) - Defines a clear road-map from retrofit opportunity to reliable Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™. With a suite of Commercial and Multifamily Energy Performance Protocols in place, ICP reduces transaction costs by assembling existing standards and practices into a consistent and transparent process that promotes an efficient market, while increasing confidence in energy efficiency as a demand-side resource and resulting cash flows for investors and building owners.

  3. IMT - The Institute for Market Transformation, Washington, DC - Nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency, green building and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. IMT’s work addresses market failures that inhibit investment in energy efficiency and sustainability in the building sector.

    Acts as an advisor to city, states and the  Federal government on energy efficiency policy programs, codes. Has staff in about ten cities around  the country, working within city government helping them craft and implement energy-efficiency programs.  Most of that is through a new project  called the City Energy Project, which is joint  with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
  4. PG&E - Energy Performance Benchmarking -  How to benchmark your building, step by step instructions

  5. SCE - Benchmark Your Business - x

9. Links
  1. - An international exchange for information on building rating disclosure policies and programs.

  2. EDF - Open Data Access Format

  3. Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB 1103) -  Order Instituting Rulemaking - California Energy Commission (CEC)
  4. General Portfolio Manager information
    1.  Full suite of “How To” guides:
    2.  FAQs and technical assistance
    3.  Live and recorded webinars
    4.  Portfolio Manager Web Services
  5. xxx