CSTO and Founder Greg Thomas Published on Data Standards, Energy Efficiency and the Digital Data Economy

Categories: News

Greg Thomas, PSD’s Founder and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, was recently published in Home Performance Coalition’s national monthly series on HPXML (Home Performance eXtensible Markup Language) and the home energy efficiency industry.


In the article, Greg highlights the importance and current state of data standards in the energy efficiency industry, the importance of data standardization, and how the industry can progress market transformation efforts around data to improve the market valuation of energy efficiency investments. He explains that in order for our public and private investments to be as cost-effective as possible, industry stakeholders should work together toward a common data standard. Data standards and data automation built on them help the entire energy efficiency industry reduce costs of processing information, while increasing the value of EE and such investments to utilities and building owners.


Home Performance XML (HPXML) and the ever expanding number of companies and programs supporting the development of a residential data taxonomy (terms) and data schema (how the data leg bone is connected to the knee bone) have made major investments of time and software development to support standardization. A similar process is also underway in commercial energy efficiency with the development and expansion of the BuildingSync data schema. Both BuildingSync and HPXML use terms defined in the DOE funded Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES). PSD has supported a number of these efforts in both the residential and commercial sectors for the past 15+ years.


A variety of opportunities exist for greater data standardization. One such prospect is in the development of open source data connection hubs that reduce the cost of maintaining data transfer connections between different systems. PSD is currently completing a DOE contract that funded the development of an open source data connection hub, the OpenEfficiency Platform, to link tools like the DOE SEED database, EPA Portfolio Manager, Salesforce, and OpenStudio, to support program management and reporting.  The tools are being used by cities like San Francisco and Berkeley to support benchmarking mandates, and by program implementers and administrators to reduce the cost of program reporting.


You can read the full article here.


Greg was responsible for the initial development of the HPXML data standard, and is currently on the strategic planning committee for HPXML and a member of the DOE M&V2.0 Stakeholders Group. Greg leads a DOE commercial building software tools deployment contract working with cities and utilities on standardization to support data interoperability, simplified savings calculations, improvements in savings prediction accuracy, and the scaling of the energy efficiency industry.