Energy Efficiency

The Building Genome Project Shows Energy Saving Potential for NYC Buildings

The Building Genome Project: Tapping Into the $370B Global Energy Efficiency Opportunity One City at a Time

Marketwired via COMTEX Press Release, April 26, 2014

Commercial buildings in New York City could save hundreds of millions of dollars in annual energy expenses through three efficiency changes. This finding, based on an analysis of more than 30,000 buildings, is part of the Building Genome Project(TM) — an ambitious effort to mine and analyze publicly available building data to gain a deeper understanding of how buildings consume energy and the energy efficiency opportunities they present. New York City was the first major U.S. city analyzed as part of this project.

Conducted by Retroficiency, the Building Genome Project maps the hundreds of distinct markers that influence how a building consumes energy. These markers, composed of mechanical equipment, construction materials, fuel sources, operational characteristics and more, make up a building’s unique genome. The project combines publicly available genomic information with analytics to help create unique physics-based energy models of each building using Retroficiency’s Building Efficiency Intelligence (BEI) platform. The energy models estimate how each building consumes energy — on an end-use level, every hour of every day — and make it easy to understand how each building could improve under different energy-saving scenarios.

“Energy efficiency has long been accepted as the most cost-effective way to reduce building energy use, but the opportunity remains largely untapped,” said Bennett Fisher, co-founder and CEO, Retroficiency. “The Building Genome Project demonstrates the power of creating an energy model of every building to identify the efficiency opportunities that currently exist and to accelerate the shift in how the energy industry and policy makers address the world’s energy challenge at scale.”

New York City’s Building Genome — One Degree Away From Energy Savings Analyzing only publicly available building data, the project mapped the genomic characteristics of New York City’s commercial building portfolio to develop physics-based energy models of more than 30,000 buildings.

Using these models, Retroficiency then ran three example energy efficiency scenarios to understand their relative impact on New York City’s commercial building portfolio. Based on these three scenarios alone, commercial buildings in New York City could potentially save almost $400 million in annual energy costs. The project further demonstrates how both small and large efficiency changes and measures can impact energy consumption and drive savings.

The three scenarios selected are not designed to define the best or most important efficiency changes. They’re designed to provide representative guidance at the zip code level on the potential impact of similar changes on the building portfolio. Findings among the 30,000+ commercial buildings analyzed include the following:

  • New York City could save $145 million on annual energy costs if every building turned the thermostat up one degree in the summer and down one degree in the winter.
  • New York City could save $227 million on annual energy costs if every building with old windows installed new, efficient windows.
  • New York City could save $10 million annually if every building with an oil boiler that uses number 4 or 6 oil replaced it with a natural gas boiler.

The Building Genome Project will continue to analyze major cities across the United States to present scenarios that demonstrate the massive energy efficiency opportunities currently locked in buildings.

To learn more and access the Building Genome Project report, please visit .

To view the accompanying Infographic, please visit .

If you’d like to suggest scenarios, data sets or cities to be analyzed as part of the project, please email

About Retroficiency, Inc. Retroficiency is the building efficiency intelligence company for utilities and energy service providers. Its proprietary software platform creates a unique energy model of any building to provide actionable insights that enable the fastest, most cost-effective way to target buildings, engage customers, convert projects and track opportunities at scale. Retroficiency is trusted by leading organizations to improve their energy efficiency programs and services, and has evaluated more than two billion square feet of building space since March 2011. For more information, please .


Media Contacts

Brian Merrill

fama PR (for Retroficiency) (617) 986-5005


SOURCE: Retroficiency, Inc.

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