On March 22, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Chairman Robert Powelson and GPIC conducted a first –of –its-kind regional discussion focused on strategies to make it easier for building owners to access their energy use data, an important tool for driving the market for retrofits in Greater Philadelphia. The event brought together Public Utility Commissioners and their staff from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington D.C., and regional energy efficiency building stakeholders, such as Mayor Michael Nutter, State Representative Chris Ross (R-Chester), and the CEOs of Liberty Property Trust and Brandywine Realty Trust.
“Utilities and regulators play an essential role in helping building owners understand their building energy use. Convening the leadership present today is a first big step towards understanding how data sharing can break down the barriers to energy efficiency and retrofit building projects. We’re grateful to Chairman Powelson, Mayor Nutter, Bill Hankowsky, Jerry Sweeney and others for their contributions” said Henry C. Foley, the Executive Director of GPIC.
During the event, an expert panel of public and private stakeholders explored the challenges and opportunities for building owners and technology companies related to accessing whole building energy use information. Cliff Majersik, President of the Institute for Market Transformation, provided an overview of efforts across the country to provide building owners with easier access to whole building data. PECO’s Vice President and General Counsel Romy Diaz reviewed their current energy efficiency initiatives, and committed the utility to working with GPIC on energy data issues. As Jerry Sweeney, CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust noted, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” as a way to highlight how improved energy data access could contribute to accelerating the market for retrofits in Greater Philadelphia.
Powelson added, “I commend GPIC for working with us to raise the importance of standard data access protocols throughout the region in order to foster increased awareness of energy efficient buildings. By collaborating with GPIC and their partners, we can assure that the PA PUC continues to promote an environment that fosters energy efficiency activity that produces savings for building owners and economic benefits for the Commonwealth. ”
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Colin McCormick concluded the meeting by explaining the recently launched federal “Green Button” initiative, which is a national effort to empower consumers by giving them easy access to their electricity usage data. At a concurrent launch at the White House, nine major utilities, including PECO, agreed to participate in the program to provide more than 15 million households access to their energy data by 2013.