Energy Performance: Meeting Goals with Tech and Data

Discover how tech and data are impacting energy performance for commercial buildings in this RETCON panel featuring industry veterans.

Managing buildings efficiently, reducing energy consumption, and decarbonizing infrastructure have become critical goals for all commercial real estate players. But how will technology and data management continue to impact CRE? How are real estate leaders facing new regulations and challenges? How important should ESG be in their strategy?

Check out this recent panel from RETCON (one of the industry’s leading real estate conferences) featuring Tom Arnold, CEO of Gridium, Raul Velarde, Director of ESG at CP Group, Greg Carey, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at The RMR Group, and Lindsey Luger, Co-founder and Partner at Energy Impact Partners, for insights on how technology and data can elevate energy performance, leading to cost savings for commercial buildings.


Want the quick highlights? Keep reading below!

Data, Technology, and Energy Performance Insights

Throughout the discussion, Tom, Raul, and Greg discussed the complexities and opportunities of managing building data and its implications for meeting sustainability goals and energy performance efficiency. 

Is ESG Dead or Alive? 

It’s clear that ESG has become a more controversial topic in recent months. While some believe in the effectiveness of ESG metrics, others believe lumping the E, S & G together has diluted its collective impact. There’s still a need to emphasize the significance of environmental focus in our strategies, particularly on carbon reduction, as a driving force behind sustainability efforts. 

“I think the S and the G are dead, and you feel it viscerally if you’re on that side of the equation. What isn’t happening is any pullback on the environmental side. People are laser-focused on carbon and operating costs, and that’s where a lot of the attention is going.”

Tom Arnold, Gridium

Motivations, drivers, and regulatory matters: what’s up in the market?

Recent trends have spurred an increased push for sustainability initiatives within the real estate market.

Tenant demands, energy performance optimization, and cost savings emerged as key factors influencing decision-making. Tenants, in particular, are considered leaders in driving demand for sustainable buildings, with net-zero carbon goals influencing leasing decisions. 

Not to mention the impact of regulatory changes, such as the SEC’s new guidelines on emissions reporting, goal-setting, and other reporting practices. In fact, there is a huge gap with regard to the accurate calculations of emissions numbers, especially due to the lack of up-to-date data.  

“The market is still growing, and we’re looking to set expectations when we’re talking to vendors. i.e., how are you getting this done? And [saying], no, we’re not going to accept that because we don’t want to set ourselves up for failure.”

Raul Velarde, CP Group

Is data “everything” when it comes to energy performance? 

Long story short, yes! Effectively utilizing data for benchmarking, measurement, and reporting in building management creates valuable insights into energy performance and helps identify optimization opportunities and cost-saving measures. 

It’s also an empowering practice for building engineers. By providing them with access to data-driven analytics, engineers can make better decisions and optimize building operations. Whether it’s identifying opportunities for cost savings or addressing maintenance issues promptly, data-driven insights empower engineers to drive efficiency and sustainability on a day-to-day basis.

“I think the big differentiator is ensuring that the local property teams are bought in early and often and that you’re actually solving a pain point for them.”

Greg Carey, The RMR Group

However, it isn’t easy to obtain accurate data on performance, especially when it comes to waste data or occupancy data. All the panelists highlighted the need for innovative solutions to address data gaps, so what does the future hold for our market? Will AI be an important facilitator? 

Watch the full panel for more insights, and contact us if you’d like to discuss your energy data and management strategy. 

About Fernanda Silva

Fernanda is a marketing professional with an extensive background in creating and executing content marketing strategies across diverse digital platforms. She is passionate about writing and believes in the transformative power of digital content.

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