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Effort underway at Detroit municipal buildings to reduce energy waste and cut bills, thanks to EGLE grant

Detroit 2030 District representatives and others who work on benchmarking Detroit municipal buildings As part of Energy Efficiency Day, MI Environment looks at the effort underway by an EGLE grantee to help the City of Detroit benchmark its buildings to reduce energy use.

Work is underway to benchmark the City of Detroit's municipal buildings to reduce energy waste and cut energy bills, thanks to a grant to the Detroit 2030 District from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Benchmarking involves assembling annual utility data to establish a baseline. This provides the ability to:

  • Compare building performance with other similar buildings
  • Quantify or verify energy and water savings after building improvements are made and
  • Identify opportunities for significant energy cost savings.

To benchmark the buildings, the Detroit 2030 District uses ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager (ESPM), a free online tool to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

The project will update energy data with current data for the existing 130 municipal buildings in the ESPM, and it will add other buildings not in the system.

Helping the streamline the process is a pilot project by DTE Energy that automates the energy of electric and natural gas data into ESPM.

In addition, the Detroit 2030 District's customized dashboard for building members is helping the City of Detroit to identify which buildings in their portfolio are underperforming and merit further investigation as well as identify utility incentives.

When complete, the information will help the City of Detroit to make decisions about capital improvements and maintenance procedures.

Businesses and organizations large and small are encouraged to use the free Portfolio Manager tool - the industry-leading benchmarking tool -- to help them manage the energy and water use at any building. Setting up a property in Portfolio Manager is easy, as this ENERGY STAR YouTube video demonstrates.

Photo caption: From left to right: Kendal Kuneman, Detroit 2030 District; City of Detroit Sustainability Director Joel Howranic Heeres; Wayne State University intern Zahra Seblini; City of Detroit employee Raymell Tyler; and Connie Lilley, executive director of the Detroit 2030 District.

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