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Thought Leadership from Sieben Energy Associates

First Public Data from Chicago’s Energy Ordinance Show Both Strong and Weak Performers

First Public Data from Chicago’s Energy Ordinance Show Both Strong and Weak Performers

By June 1, owners or managers of essentially all buildings in Chicago larger than 50,000 square feet were required to submit their 2015 energy usage data to the City. This is the third year that some have had to report their data; for others, it is their first year of compliance. Back in September 2013, Chicago joined a handful of other U.S. cities when it became the latest to adopt a building energy benchmarking ordinance. Through the impact of the ordinance, the City of Chicago hopes "to raise awareness of energy performance through information and transparency, with the goal of unlocking energy and cost savings opportunities."

In December 2015, the City of Chicago made public the 2014 energy usage data and ENERGY STAR scores (for those buildings that can receive scores) for commercial and institutional buildings larger than 250,000 square feet. The spreadsheet, presenting data for 243 buildings (predominantly offices, hospitals, K-12 schools, and colleges/universities), can be downloaded from the City's Data Portal.

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Explore the Future of Energy at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

A groundbreaking interactive exhibit called Future Energy Chicago opened at the world-renowned museum in the fall of 2013. Sieben Energy Associates played an important role in the development of the Museum of Science and Industry exhibit, uncovering and validating the simulation data for the real-world scenarios encountered by museum guests.

MSI describes the grounding of the simulation in real-world data that Sieben Energy Associates contributed to the exhibit: "The Future Energy Chicago Simulation is based upon real-world information and data. MSI partnered with Sieben Energy Associates to seek out, organize, and interpret the data, which provided the basis for the simulation game's scoring system."

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How IKEA Plans to Take Its Buildings Energy-Neutral

IKEA, the home furnishings company, has a stated goal of becoming "energy independent" by 2020. Their plan for energy independence required a substantial investment of time and resources. IKEA developed their strategic plan following several years of painstaking energy data collection, extensive energy audits, and an assessment of portfolio energy needs. 

In "How IKEA Plans to Take Its Buildings Energy-Neutral", an article published on GreenBiz.com, author Judith Nemes describes IKEA's business case for pursuing energy independence, and their steps to date towards achieving their goal. As the article notes, Sieben Energy Associates served a critical energy consulting role for IKEA.

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“The Energy Doctor Is In” Published in Facility Management Journal

Jerry Burin and Phil Keuhn of Sieben Energy Associates discuss the benefits of accessing information about energy-consuming systems in an article titled "The Energy Doctor Is In" from the November 2012 issue of Facility Management Journal.

A building's "vital signs" (system performance and trending data) provide energy engineers the opportunity to identify and implement efficiency measures and verify energy savings.

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Efficiency By The Numbers

​Energy data is collected and analyzed as never before. Nearly every industry has been revolutionized by the continuous processing of numbers at unprecedented speed and scale. Purposeful data analysis elicits new perspectives on how value is assigned to products and services. Data collection and handling is important, yet we find that the value is in the interpretation as well as the response. 

While there are costs associated with data management, if leveraged appropriately the advantages will produce significant ROI. The more accurate and in-depth the data analysis, the more value is derived from it. The same is true of data use: the more an organization uses data to inform day-to-day operations and to develop long-term goals, the greater the return.

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