Ontario Continues to Promote Green Button

Ontario's Ministry of Energy recently released their "2017 Long-Term Energy Plan: Delivering Fairness and Choice." The province first launched their energy plan in 2010, and reviewed it once in 2013. Since then, they engaged consumers through means such as stakeholder sessions and Environmental Registry submissions to gather feedback for this 2017 update. The key initiatives focus on: ensuring affordable and accessible energy to customers; innovating the energy system; improving value, performance, conservation and efficiency; and shifting towards clean energy.

In order for both the province and the consumer to work towards these goals, it is critical to provide access to energy usage data and metrics. Ontario seeks to employ the Green Button data standard which gives individuals "easy electronic access" to this information. Green Button was created in the U.S. Department of Energy's "Apps for Energy Challenge," with the concept that customers should be able to download their own electricity usage from their utility website. Ontario's Energy Plan states,

"Greater access to information through Green Button will allow consumers to better understand their energy and water usage and use the information to make decisions, such as reducing or shifting their energy use or retrofitting their home or business to improve its energy efficiency. Green Button can also support energy reporting and benchmarking, and create new opportunities for economic development."

Energy Hippo is an authorized service provider for Green Button and can help your organization access and manage your energy usage data. Contact support@energyhippo.com to learn more.

Chicago to Use Data to Improve Building Efficiency

Since beginning its energy benchmarking program in 2013, the city of Chicago has saved over $17 million on energy costs. Almost 2,700 properties are now tracking and reporting their energy use through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager; with these baseline interpretations in place, the city can take their energy efficiency goals to the next level.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is partnering with Chicago utility ComEd to launch the Smart Building Operations Pilot. This program will use real-time energy data to encourage management teams to make energy-efficient choices each day. According to an EDF report:

"The Smart Building Operations Pilot will [...] find out whether the combination of information, interpretation, and motivation results in large building operators consistently making smarter energy choices:
  1. Information: The building will collect and display energy-use data in real time (or near‐real time), providing direct feedback to a building operator on the energy impact of their actions.
  2. Interpretation: The building will calculate an energy-use baseline, against which performance will be tracked every half hour, daily, and monthly. To raise awareness, building operators will receive alerts when energy use exceeds or is expected to exceed the baseline.
  3. Motivation: The program will provide an achievable and meaningful incentive to improve. ComEd will provide up to $5000 up-front to cover hard costs and $0.05 for each kilowatt hour saved compared to the building’s baseline.
This three-pronged approach will empower participants to know how their decisions are affecting energy use in real‐time and easily track those impacts, while providing financial rewards for hitting and exceeding targets."

Energy Hippo software integrates with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and can help you achieve your energy savings goals. Contact support@energyhippo.com to learn more.

Campus Billing and Energy Management Systems

Managing the data collection, processing, and reporting for campus billing is often a manual and expensive process.  The campus utilities environment is invariably complex, often with a mix of district energy, purchased power, renewables, and other utilities.  Campus metering may be a mixture of real-time interval meters, manually read monthly meters, and calculated meters.  Tenant calculations may be based on square footage, facility use types, or historical usage patterns.  Users of this data may include facilities, accounting and finance, administration, and other end user customers.  Often campus rebilling requires redundant manual processes, disparate systems and spreadsheets, and significant time to generate monthly bills.  Many organizations are saving time and money by integrating and automating their existing campus billing process with applications built for campus billing.  These products help to standardize and automate data collection, bill generation, bill allocation, data export, and energy management reporting.  Learn the best practices around data collection and data management for campus billing and how software products can make the process faster, easier, and more reliable.

Contact support@energyhippo.com for the full whitepaper.