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Thought Leadership from Sieben Energy Associates

ENERGY STAR Scores for Most Office Buildings Will Fall in 2018


ENERGY STAR scores for most if not all office buildings will decrease as early as August 2018 due to recalibration. Current scores for office buildings will drop by an average of 8 points. The U.S. EPA broke this news at the ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Partner Meeting that was convened in Chicago in October 2017.

So if your building's ENERGY STAR score is currently a 78, it could drop to 70 or below, preventing you from maintaining ENERGY STAR certification, which requires a minimum score of 75.
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Exploring the Future of Energy Data Analytics at SkyPosium


Together with 150 other members of the global SkySpark community, Syed Suhail and I spent two interesting and stimulating days at SkyPosium 2017. SkySpark is an increasingly popular analytics platform developed by the company SkyFoundry, whose vision is "SkySpark Everywhere." The SkySpark community includes value-added resellers and distributors, engineering consultants, software-as-a-service (SaaS) program developers, and some end users.

SkyPosium was convened at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott in Dulles, Virginia. From 12 noon on Tuesday, November 14 through 4:30 pm on Wednesday, November 15, we learned about the expanding suite of tools and capabilities available to SkySpark users. Sieben Energy Associates, an early adopter of using large dataset analytics to optimize HVAC system performance, has been a SkySpark software user since 2010.

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Major Takeaways from the 2017 Intelligent Buildings Conference


The Intelligent Buildings conference (IBcon), presented by RealComm, is one of the most important gatherings for the commercial and corporate real estate, facilities, and technology industries. I attended the 2017 IBcon in San Diego, California on June 13–16. This event brought together leaders from more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, and many countries in Europe and Asia.

I attended all four days of the conference. Seven pre-conference events were held on Tuesday, June 13. These were followed by two full days of education sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, June 14–15. The conference concluded with nine Real Estate Innovation Tech Tours on Friday, June 16.
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Why Pursue Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings?

It is hard to conceptualize the impact that our own energy use has on the world, particularly as it relates to carbon emissions and climate change. Although we understand the importance of reducing energy consumption, it often feels like the energy we use on a regular basis is just a drop in the bucket. But the key is to remember that those many small drops add up quickly. Reducing energy use in our buildings, even by a modest amount, can, in aggregate, have a significant impact.

According to the International Energy Outlook 2016, published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), energy consumed in the buildings sector constitutes about 20% of total global site energy consumed. The "buildings sector" includes residential and commercial users, and encompasses all energy consumed at the building for uses such as heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, refrigeration, computers, and other various equipment and consumer products. Of this 20%, residential users are responsible for about two-thirds, while commercial users are responsible for the remaining one-third. In other words, commercial buildings around the world account for 7% of global site energy consumption.
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Cities with the Most ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings in 2017

Earlier in June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual ranking of ENERGY STAR Top Cities. According to the EPA, the list "shows which metro areas were home to the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings in the previous year."

The Top Cities for 2017, based on the numbers of 2016 certified buildings, were:
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