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State Spotlight: California

Utilizing Portfolio Manager Web Services to Benchmark the State's Building Portfolio

In 2007, California passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1103 (in 2015 the California legislature repealed AB 1103 and replaced it with AB 802) that mandated California's investor-owned utility companies automatically upload energy usage data for all nonresidential buildings into ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager via Portfolio Manager web services to help automate building benchmarking. California estimated that this process would reduce manual meter data entry into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager by 80%. By tracking current and historical energy use, California reduced its cumulative energy use in state buildings by more than 10% and energy use intensity of state buildings by 25% from 2003–2013.

Summary

Goal: Reduce state energy consumption by 20% from 2003 levels by 2018.

Barrier: Inefficient method and format of data delivered by utility.

Solution: Passed legislation that mandated that California's investor-owned utility companies automatically upload energy usage data for all nonresidential buildings into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager via Portfolio Manager web services to help automate building benchmarking.

Outcome: Reduced cumulative energy use in state buildings by more than 10% and energy use intensity of state buildings by 25% from 2003–2013.

Background

California developed the Green Building Action Plan in response to CA Executive Order B-18-12 issued in April 2012. The Executive Order required state agencies and departments to reduce their energy consumption by 20% from 2003 levels by 2018. In order to meet that goal, the Green Building Action Plan included specific requirements for state agencies to benchmark their buildings in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and submit annual reports on their energy use.

Implementation Strategy

In 2006, the California Energy Commission helped state agencies initiate energy benchmarking by contracting with a consultant to create individual ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts for most of the state's departments and buildings, along with a master facility account the state could monitor and manage centrally. The state agencies also requested the assistance of the state's largest utilities. The utilities responded by implementing the earliest version of Portfolio Manager web services to transfer data into agency ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts. These utilities were the first in the country to use Portfolio Manager web services and did so before subsequent legislative requirements.

The following year, Assembly Bill 1103 was signed into law. It mandated that starting January 1, 2009, California's investor-owned utility companies automatically upload energy usage data for all nonresidential buildings into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager via Portfolio Manager web services to help to automate the benchmarking efforts. The law required the utilities to provide the information upon request at no cost to the customers.

The utilization and management of individual department ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts coupled with initiating automatic uploads of energy consumption data allowed California to automatically collect consumption data for approximately 80% of the electric meters and a majority of natural gas meters that service the 12,00 facilities—representing 110 million square feet. Individual agencies manually entered cost and consumption data for buildings that are serviced by municipal utilities.

Outcomes

By tracking current and historical energy use, California reduced its cumulative energy use in state buildings by more than 10% and energy use intensity of state buildings by 25% from 2003–2013. In addition, California estimated that this process would reduce manual meter data entry into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager by 80%. Finally, these regular data updates provided 35 state agencies with current energy use data as they worked toward reaching the state's energy use reduction targets.

Sources

California Department of General Services. 2013. "Green Building Action Plan – For Implementation of Executive Order B-18-12." State of California-Office of Governor.

California Legislative Information. "AB 1103, Assembly Bill No. 1103." Accessed August 2020.

Note: The information in this case study is based on primary research conducted in 2013. Learn more about the guide's research and development.

To learn more about streamlining access to utility data, see Step 4.