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Near Real-Time Energy Use Tracked in Washington, DC

national mallThe Department of General Services (DGS) has created Build Smart DC, a new website and energy tracking system, which details and shares energy consumption information for every District-owned facility in Washington, DC (more than 400 buildings).

The system, powered by Honest Buildings, is built on thousands of data points that are captured and assessed in near real time, creating an opportunity for the District to adjust and manage its energy consumption city-wide.

Building on DGS’ partnership with the local utility Pepco and Washington Gas Energy Services to acquire the next-day interval feed, Build Smart DC creates a more transparent and collaborative environment for building energy performance, and leverages near real-time energy data to identify energy wastes and catalyze no- and low-cost efficiency improvements.

Although Washington, DC, already has building benchmarking data via the EPA’s Portfolio Manager, according to DGS, building energy performance data is often reported months delayed, and with only a dozen data points per year.

Through Build Smart DC, the District will receive 35,000+ data points per building, per year. This “actionable data” will permit quick targeting of inefficiencies in building operations – such as scheduling that doesn’t match occupancy (a major issue in many commercial buildings). The data will be seen and addressed by the entire ecosystem that impacts building performance, including facilities mangers, executive management, occupants and the public.

Moving forward, some of the additions to Build Smart DC will include: building-to-building (and perhaps even city-to-city) competitions; additional project profiles; natural gas, water and recycling data; comprehensive next-day electricity data; and additional buildings and portfolios.

Photo credit: YoTuT’s Flickr photostream

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