We have Data on Apartment Building Efficiency in Minnesota

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For four years, benchmarking multifamily buildings in Minnesota was a big part of my work. At long last, the final report from that project is public.  (A summary of findings is here.)

Benchmarking takes the raw data of how much energy and water a building uses, and normalizes it by building size (and more), so that you can get apples-to-apples comparisons of how buildings perform.

The big take-aways include:

  • master-metered buildings saved energy and water!
  • benchmarking multifamily buildings at scale is possible (we really weren’t sure when we started)
  • hands-on support, delivered by a consistent account manager, made the benchmarking valuable to participants
  • owners used it for much more than just saving energy and water.

The team delivering the benchmarking services (Jon and Colleen at BrightPower, Billy and Pat at CSBR, and me through Minnesota Green Communities) executed diverse tasks along the way. We:

  • developed outreach materials
  • traveled CenterPoint and Xcel territory doing outreach, in person and by phone
  • created tools – checklists, worksheets, tips – to drive energy- and water-saving action
  • worked with Xcel to get data access
  • met with participants regularly in person and by phone to help them make use of their data
  • more I’ve forgotten over the years.

It’s exciting to finally be able to share what we learned!