D.C. Launches Website that Shares Energy Consumption Data for District-owned Facilities

Build Smart DC is a new website and tracking system that details and shares energy-consumption information for every District of Columbia-owned and -run facility in the city. This robust system is built on thousands of data points that are captured and assessed in real time, creating an enormous opportunity for the District to adjust and manage its energy consumption city-wide.

Building on D.C.’s Department of General Services’ partnership with Pepco and Washington Gas Energy Services to acquire the next-day interval feed, Build Smart DC will provide transparent, detailed, timely and actionable energy data. This landmark effort creates a more transparent, collaborative and accountable environment for building energy performance and leverages near real-time energy data to identify energy wastes and catalyze no- and low-cost efficiency improvements.

In keeping with the mayor’s One City vision and the mission of DGS, Director Brian Hanlon sees Build Smart DC as an integral part of the city’s collective green efforts. “The goal is clear: Make our facilities one of the most sustainable real estate portfolios in the world,” he says.

Traditionally, building energy performance is reported months delayed and with only a dozen data points per year. Through Build Smart DC, the District will receive 35,000-plus data points per building, per year, in near real-time. This “actionable data” is a paradigm shift for quickly targeting inefficiencies in building operations—such as scheduling that doesn’t match occupancy (a major issue in many commercial buildings)—and shortly resolving them, as the data will be seen and addressed by the entire ecosystem that impacts building performance, including facilities mangers, executive management, occupants, the public, etc.

A few examples of what the website offers:

  • Tens of thousands of data points delivered daily.
  • Real-time narratives about the city’s efficiency projects from low-cost building management system upgrades to full-scale school modernizations.
  • A collaborative opportunity to actively seek community input about ways in which energy waste can be eliminated.

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. In the end, it is envisioned that Build Smart DC will encourage other local and municipal governments, private sector companies and non-profit institutions to join Washington, D.C., in making investments that benefit the environment, the economy and the bottom line.

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