Making Big Utility Data Dance and Sing
At WegoWise, we love data, and we think it deserves a better reputation than dry and lifeless. Can it dance and sing? It sings in the sense that it can give building owners valuable information on energy savings, sure. But dance? Over at our microsite, data.wegowise.com, it does in fact do a little shimmying. That's the "playground" where we bring to life the data research from over three million utility bills from more than 24,000 buildings around the country.
Recently WegoWise data scientist, John Rutherford (@jmr_v), has added another visualization to the site. The interactive graph shows some features of our multifamily building WegoScore, including the breadth of its dataset, its attention to site-based and source energy, and how it doesn't grade on a curve. Since the WegoScore launch, we have found additional insights from exploring these distilled scores.
From this data, we recognize several trends around climate zones and fuel choice, of course, but neither of these factors exclude a building from a higher Energy WegoScore. Whether a building is in New England or California, whether it uses oil or solar, it can still have an excellent Energy WegoScore if it is operating efficiently.
On the other hand, Carbon WegoScores are a different animal: they are highly dependent on fuel type. And if the fuel being used is electricity, then geographic location comes into play. Why? It really boils down to a region's generation mix and the carbon burden to produce and distribute electricity. So in these areas, some buildings receive lower Carbon WegoScores than if they were in areas where electricity was produced more efficiently.
Here's the good news: as a nation, when we begin replacing our electricity sources with more efficient fuels (gas vs. coal, solar vs. gas, etc.) these Carbon Scores may improve regardless of heating fuel source. Or, proactive building managers can change their on-site fuel type to improve their score and reduce their carbon footprint.
Beyond our WegoScore data, imagine the greater good we could do if we all were a bit more energy efficient. Answers can be found among the other data visualizations. For instance, did you know...?
- If apartments in California became as efficient as the top 50% of the multifamily buildings there, the state could save 2,157 million gallons of water per month. That's the equivalent of the water needed to fill up 4.8 Rose Bowl stadiums.
- If apartments in Massachusetts became as efficient as the top quartile of the multifamily buildings there, the state could save 1,314 million gallons of water per month, or the equivalent of 4.9 minutes of water flow from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico.
- If all buildings in Massachusetts' LEAN utility program were as efficient as its top quartile, the state could save almost 2 trillion BTUs of gas and electric energy per year. That's like saving the energy equivalent of 72 million 15-minute showers.
So, go ahead...make the WegoWise data dance and sing for you. As we uncover new conclusions, or find new ways of interacting with our data coupled with public data, we'll update the site. Happy discovery!