Commercial Building Energy Data Reporting Best Practices and Requirements

Citation

  • Vérin, A., Gauthier, G., Ndiaye, M. (2021). Commercial Building Energy Data Reporting Best Practices and Requirements. Assessing the Potential for Standardization. Canadian Standards Association, Toronto, ON.

Executive Summary

Commercial building energy data reporting initiatives have been growing in previous years across Canada with the goal of achieving energy and climate targets as well as encouraging the identification and implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures. Several provinces and cities have developed voluntary programs. For the moment, Ontario is the only province with energy data reporting legislation. In 2017, the province introduced a mandatory regulation entitled Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB), requiring the collection of energy and water consumption data for offices and buildings that are used for multi-residential, commercial, and industrial purposes [1]. Given the wide range of requirements currently employed across Canada, there is a need to evaluate the different energy data reporting practices and requirements for commercial buildings and compare the differences and overlaps between the various building energy data reporting key steps and attributes.

The goal of this research was to examine the best practices and methodologies used to report data on commercial buildings through existing initiatives across Canada and the U.S. These data provided the basis for recommendations on energy data reporting for future standardization. This report presents the results of (1) an environmental scan and stakeholder interviews that served to identify the voluntary and mandatory ongoing initiatives across Canada and the U.S.; (2) an investigation to present key steps and attributes of energy data reporting; (3) an analysis that determined significant opportunities and challenges to be considered; and (4) recommendations for future standard development.

The environmental scan, completed through the above-mentioned interviews, has provided critical insights on current gaps in the availability of standards, guidelines, and best practices for supporting building energy data reporting. There are currently no standards to facilitate the harmonization of commercial building energy reporting data practices. Based on the research findings, several best practices (the four pillars) for future standard development were identified, which relate to:

  • General program design principles
  • Data-collection control
  • Data disclosure and visualization
  • Stakeholder engagement

The recommendations presented in this report regarding those best practices provide an important step towards facilitating the harmonization of energy data reporting for commercial buildings across Canada.