Helping Clients Obtain Utility Data to Facilitate Benchmarking

Uploading accurate and complete energy data to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an integral component of the benchmarking process. However, utilities’ customer privacy policies limit what data can be shared with third parties. In the case of multi-tenant and multi-family properties where tenants are billed directly by the utility, this can mean that a property owner (or its designated service provider) will not be able to easily obtain the whole-building energy consumption data (i.e., tenant-paid meters plus owner-paid meters) required for accurate benchmarking.

Increasingly, though, many utilities have determined that customer data privacy can be adequately protected by aggregating all consumption data at the whole-building level before sharing with the third party to ensure that the individual consumption cannot be identified. However, ENERGY STAR understands that it can be challenging for SPPs and end-user clients to effectively request data from utilities, and it can be difficult for utilities to understand what is being requested — especially if it doesn’t align with their pre-existing process for third-party data requests. As a result, ENERGY STAR has developed a series of resources to help Service and Product Providers (SPPs) and their clients navigate the process for requesting whole-building consumption data.

Process to Request Aggregate, Whole-Building Energy Data

The steps below are intended to walk SPPs and end-users through the process of seeking whole-building aggregate energy consumption data from a utility.

Step 1: Determine if utility offers aggregate, whole-building data as a service.

Review ENERGY STAR’s interactive map to determine if the utility provides customers with energy benchmarking data. If a tabular version is preferred, download this fact sheet on Utilities Providing Energy Data for Benchmarking in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Step 2: Request energy data from utility

If it appears that the utility does not have an existing process for providing aggregate, whole-building data for benchmarking, use the resources below to prepare your request:

Step 3 (if necessary): Follow up with utility

If the utility does not respond, or does not agree to provide aggregate whole-building energy data, use appropriate email outlines and/or sample text below:

If additional information is requested by the utility, use the Reference Guide to draft your email.