Since 2017, hundreds of American cities, universities and businesses have signed the We’re Still In pledge, declaring their organizations’ commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Signatory organizations are pursuing an array of strategies to reduce carbon emissions and advance energy efficiency initiatives. Many signatories are targeting their efforts at buildings and transportation, as these sectors consume more energy and are responsible for more carbon pollution than other sectors.

For organizations developing and implementing strategies aimed at the built environment, ACE IoT Solutions advises that the creation of a healthy energy data ecosystem is a key to success.

What does a Healthy Energy Data Ecosystem have to do with carbon reduction and energy efficiency?

From our experience working with the City of Washington DC’s Department of General Services (DGS), we can identify three recommendations related to a data ecosystem that will best support and facilitate efforts to reduce carbon emissions and advance energy efficiency in the built environment.

  1. Make certain your organization has access to building portfolio energy data that is behind the meter. Data related to energy bills alone will not adequately support effective decision making. Organizations should map their specific objectives with the data that are required to support the objective. For example, data including performance information about space temperatures, information about how frequently a boiler, chiller, or air handler is cycling can be used to support remediation decisions and long-term planning regarding capital retrofits. As a rule, the more granular the data your organization can access, the more innovative your organization’s carbon reduction and building performance optimization strategies can be.

  2. Strive to secure a single pane of glass through which you can access data from buildings throughout your organization’s building portfolio. Many organizations operate buildings with disparate mechanical and controls systems. Without a view into the performance of your organization’s building portfolio as a whole it is difficult to engage in benchmarking, predict energy demands and bring to scale strategies to improve building performance. While it can be expensive and time consuming to integrate disparate systems, most control systems can provide an interface that can port data to an open source platform where data from across an organization’s building portfolio can be collected and managed.

  3. Make your organization’s energy data transparent and accessible via APIs. In most organizations, there are a surprising number of stakeholders with an interest in energy data. Efforts to make energy data accessible empowers building occupants, building operators, building technicians, interested citizens and application developers. The most successful carbon reduction and building performance initiatives will recognize these - and others - as important programmatic stakeholders.

Successful approaches to reduce carbon emissions and advance energy efficiency goals recognize the unique characteristics of an organization and the buildings in its portfolio. For this reason, a healthy energy data ecosystem can have everything to do with the success of carbon reduction and energy efficiency initiatives. Easy access to the appropriate energy data supports innovation and a culture within the organization of data-driven decision making.

The good news is that – due to low cost sensors and newly available software – it has never been easier to ensure your organization has a healthy energy data ecosystem. Contact ACE IoT Solutions to discuss your organization’s objectives.