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2 mins

The joint DOE/HUD/EPA letter: A guide for utility companies

The recent letter issued jointly by the Department of Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency is a call to action for utilities nationwide to make energy and water data readily available to all multifamily property owners. This collaborative request to provide critical energy data to customers opens the door for property owners to apply for billions in funding made available through the Inflation Reduction Act. For utility companies, the tradeoff of navigating the complex requirements inherent in this request is the opportunity to strengthen partnerships with valuable, high consumption customers and contribute directly to GHG reduction efforts. With the right tools, utilities can streamline and fully automate compliance with this request.

What does the DOE/HUD/EPA joint letter mean for utility companies?

The letter requests utilities nationwide “take action to make whole-building utility data available to multifamily owners”—a critical step to enable homeowner participation in federal programs with more than $6.6B set aside for energy efficiency improvements to multifamily units. Since individual residents typically manage their own utility accounts, multifamily property owners lack complete energy use data for their buildings, hindering their ability to participate in these programs effectively without aggregated data supplied by their utility.

What challenges do utilities face when trying to comply?

“We know that it is feasible to provide whole-building utility data for multifamily properties through the development of an IT solution that aggregates the data from all accounts in a building while maintaining the privacy of individual account holders”. While the intent of the letter is good, this can be easier said than done. Securing individual consent from each and every tenant across every single building is a significant hurdle—especially for larger properties or those with high tenant turnover. Aggregating the data, creating a repository, establishing secure access for building owners, and constantly updating the information puts both a manpower and resource strain on utilities.

Where can utilities turn for help?

EnergyCAP has been helping utilities across the county aggregate, manage, submit, and communicate building data for years.

EnergyCAP Utility Company Platform is a commercial off-the-shelf software designed to integrate with a utility’s existing systems, automatically aggregate and submit building data to ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®, manage tenant data releases, and offer a customer self-service portal where building owners can access their data, see visualizations, and gain a holistic view of their energy portfolio. In short, Utility Company Platform automates every single aspect of compliance with the EPA’s request in a truly hands-off solution, implemented by our expert technical teams and backed by EnergyCAP’s 40 years of energy data experience. Curious? You can see more here.

As building benchmarking mandates proliferate around the country, and join with requests like these at the federal level, utilities walk an inevitable path to supplying whole building data to multifamily and commercial building owners. We’re here to be your partner and guide on this journey, offering guidance on this legislation, as well as the tools to comply without the expense of adding staff or standing up internal programs.