Tidbit Tuesday| City Energy Data Released!

On Tuesdays, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

The City of Philadelphia recently released energy data for city-owned buildings larger than 10,000 square feet! Data from calendar year 2011 are currently available here, with more to come. Check out what’s posted so far (please note the terms of use), and let us know what you think; we’d love to hear how this information is used, and encourage you to share the results of any visualizations you do!

For this week’s Tidbit Tuesday we used recently-released energy data to look at the energy use intensity (EUI) of different types of city-owned buildings, normalized by weather and source. The figure below shows average EUIs for different categories of buildings (on the y axis), compared with the number of buildings in that category (on the x axis). Circle size represents the total square feet of space in each facility category.

TidbitTuesday-Benchmarking--bubble-diagram

As the figure above shows, the most energy intensive city-owned buildings on average are museums and labs. The space that these buildings take up is however much less than the space devoted to mid-intensity energy users such as offices, which accounted for almost 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions generated by city-owned buildings in 2011.

More energy data, for private as well as public buildings, are on the way. In 2012, Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed the Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, requiring buildings with at least 50,000 square feet of commercial space to submit building and utility information annually to the City using a free, online portfolio manager tool provided by EnergyStar. Beginning in 2014, the City will report benchmarking data online, allowing property owners, the City, and the public alike to compare energy and water use across different types of buildings using standardized metrics. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, along with support from MOTU’s energy staff, manages city benchmarking efforts.

P.S. The City of Philadelphia has an open data guidebook that supports the release of data such as these.

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