WegoWise partnered with the Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN) to benchmark the energy usage for 75% of the affordable housing in Massachusetts. The benchmarks allowed LEAN to target the most inefficient buildings for upgrades, potentially saving 1800 GBTU of gas and electric energy per year if all buildings became as efficient as the top quartile.
Data from the first two years of the program is primarily drawn from buildings with owner-paid utilities, as these building owners both had access to the necessary data and saw direct benefit from tracking and benchmarking. However, the large scale of the program necessitated that we actively enroll properties with tenant-paid utilities. In addition to establishing anonymized data agreements with utilities to provide data for tenant-paid utility buildings, we worked with property owners and managers to collect tenant utility release forms.
The WegoWise platform is already adept at automatically retrieving monthly utility data, but the LEAN Benchmarking Inventory taught the team how important tenant engagement is for data collection. Over the course of the program, we found that the most effective utility data release forms are simple and concise, with a forthright description of the data use and privacy rights. Additionally, monetary incentives work.
With the LEAN Benchmarking Inventory now complete, WegoWise hopes to help develop an energy efficiency standard for the underserved multifamily sector of the built environment.