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The Big Apple caught our eye with their drive towards Data Transparency

There is rarely a shortage in articles about “the city that never sleeps”. Such an energetic city caught our eye recently for one special reason. The dedicated approach to a collective initiative of managing energy data is truly groundbreaking. Could it be that New York has cracked the nut in terms of how a city can work together to reduce their energy consumption?

Mestro Trends is a part of The Mestropolitan where we actively seek inspiration wherever we might find it. We keep our antenna tuned to find examples in the drive to save even more energy and money. The Mestro team will share our thoughts on what’s happening to our industry and others - and you are most certainly welcome to take part of them. Enjoy!

I found it fascinating to observe the results of targeted legislations, political initiatives and transparent data working together to reduce energy consumption. New York, as the largest city in the US, has spent the last 10 years monitoring and evaluating energy usage on all properties with an area exceeding 4645 m3. The manus  "You can't manage what you don't measure" underlies the principle. Michael Bloomberg, the three times Mayor and former UN Special Envoy for Climate Action was key in implementing key measures of accountability in energy usage and reporting across the 4 burroughs of the City.

To report and compare in this way is no news to the world. Sweden has similar laws and regulations for larger businesses. What sets New York City apart is how the data is transparent and accessible for everyone online. This collaborative access has not only made a remarkable impact on energy consumption in the city, but also contributed to theoretical studies in the field. 

New York’s systems for benchmarking are transparent and open for review and input. For example, academics are regular contributors and actively suggest improvements. With total transparency any interested party can compare the energy performance of any property, whether out of curiosity or necessity. This level of transparency opens up a lot of possibilities from investment and competitive analysis to sheer nosiness! Just imagine how great it would be to easily compare your energy efficiency with your neighbour - or competitor.

The end result of the clever combination of legislation and transparency is an empowered populace. The net effect has been to create consciousness, competence and the opportunity for observations and decisions to become more informed by facts. The global reality is that we are far away from this being the global standard. The opportunity before us is highlighted by New York. “To measure is to know”. The key question we are all facing is how to get to this stage quickly, effectively and efficiently. How might we follow in New York’s footsteps thereby leveraging the competencies available and unearthing findings that lie dormant within encrypted data storages and dusty documentations. 

Therese Enlund, 
Frontend Developer at Mestro

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