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Who Should Provide Data?

Live from GreenBuild: Who Should Provide Energy Reporting Data?
One of my favorite parts about Greenbuild is the absolutely fantastic lineup of speakers, even at the smaller presentations. Such was the case at the very first seminar I attended: "Reailty Check in the Age of Obama." The speakers discussed the effect of the election on climate change and green building policy, and most of the predictions were negative.

There was an interesting dialogue during the presentation between Martin Chavez of ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability and Karen Penafiel of Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). Martin pointed out repeatedly that much of the green building policy over the next few years will start at the state and municipal level. As an example, he pointed to mandatory benchmarking requirements for property owners in some cities, like Washington, D.C. and New York City.

It is an interesting conundrum — who is best situated to provide energy reporting data? »

Nancy's Comment:

Good post and good questions Chris.

In NYC, the benchmarking law imposes energy use reporting responsibilities on property owners. The complication arises in gaining access to tenant electric/gas utility bills. Utilities are not supposed to provide a customer's usage or payment information to third parties, such as landlords. For the moment, only bulk metered buildings can be counted on to provide all utility data. For submetered buildings, in contrast, the benchmarking law requires the owner to supply fuel and common area electirity data. It is my understanding that the City is in discussion with Con Ed to see if there is a path for obtaining submetered customer information in a way that satisfies all parties.

That said, BOMA's proposal, as you describe it, does not solve this data privacy question.

Similarly, I have heard, but cannot confirm, that in NYC, a legislative proposal to require property owners to provide prospective buyers and renters with information about energy use was shot down by a local real estate association. If true, that's a lost opportunity and places like Australia are light years ahead of us. Any discussion of this topic at GreenBuild?

Chris's Reponse:

There was discussion of the topic of energy data disclosure to home buyers. I sat in on a panel about the Oregon/Washington program that requires residential home energy data to be disclosed to home buyers. It was a fascinating idea. The panel also discussed the fact that Gainesville, Florida is the first city to disclose all energy data online for homes. Visit Gainesville-Green »