How companies leverage data to make greener buildings

Editor's Note: To learn more about using data for energy efficient buildings, be sure to check out VERGE@Greenbuild, November 12-13.

Recently, I blogged about the fact that significant improvements in the efficiency of existing buildings -- a critical and potentially cost-effective part of our carbon reduction strategy -- are not easy to achieve, and described how doubts about the likely success of energy upgrade projects are a barrier to “scaling up” efficiency in buildings. I also touched on EDF’s efforts to change that.

Today I’m happy to report further on some of the progress being made toward a future in which energy efficiency (EE) project originators and funders will have greater reason to expect success in energy upgrades involving existing buildings.

Last week, EDF partnered with Bloomberg New Energy Finance to host "Leveraging Data to Move Markets," a half-day discussion among government, real estate, Wall Street, real estate entrepreneurs and NGOs, with participation from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the White House Center for Environmental Quality (CEQ). The discussion focused on DOE and EDF efforts to address key data and standardization requirements to meet the needs of private capital markets to facilitate comprehensive energy efficiency projects.

It was clear based on the conversation throughout the day that investors and other market players are looking for accurate, reliable and transparent forecasts of savings from EE projects and related loans in order to manage risk associated with investing. The lack of standards for data and for the various practices that make up the lifecycle of an EE retrofit are not only affecting the ability to rely on the savings being delivered, but also impeding the origination of projects and creating significant transaction costs to all players.

Construction image by Ragne Kabanova via Shutterstock

Next page: The need for standards and transparency