Energy efficiency is a multifaceted approach that means doing more and better with less by:
- Obtaining more value with available resources
- Reducing resource consumption
- Reducing the environmental impact and pollution
Many countries have laws that mandate energy use disclosure aimed to promote transparency to drive energy savings. Transparent energy reporting and disclosing patterns are expected to lead to behavioral changes in energy usage. Improving energy consumption allow countries to reduce resource scarcity and maximize the use of existing energy and water infrastructure.
Energy reporting is a critical factor in changing our energy consumption habits, and it brings benefits such as:
A key benefit of sharing performance metrics and data is that it increases our capacity to understand how energy is used and its associated impact. For consumers, energy data is valuable for decision-making on management and investment levels.
Energy benchmarking aims to track building performance over time and to compare it to similar buildings in a sector or area. The consistency of energy reporting in different states, provinces, and cities allow for a more objective evaluation of building performance within a community and across the entire country.
Energy reporting builds stakeholder support for energy policies, effectiveness, and compliance. Raising literacy and awareness around energy use in buildings can also develop energy management professional's knowledge to stimulate energy retrofit projects, and drive actual energy savings in buildings.
Empowering local governments to reach their energy-saving goals is one of the key objectives of energy reporting and benchmarking initiatives. The development of benchmarking policies and regulations require many important decisions in regard to policy scope, design, and implementation approach. Data accuracy is essential to ensure the effectiveness of benchmarking initiatives.
On of the benefits of a sub-metering system (power meters installed in each distribution circuit), is that it can accurately report energy use in buildings, this process can be automated to allow owners, managers, and engineers and meet guidelines set by the governing agencies. Additionally, with the right software platform they can also analyze and compare energy consumption across similar facilities or buildings over time, create energy indexes, by occupant or square footage and create their own benchmarks. Analyzing consumption will help in finding where energy is wasted and in optimizing building performance.