Monthly Archives: September 2013

California government staff discuss energy data access, existing data sets, challenges and opportunities

The CEEIC held the first webinar in its three-part series on intelligent energy management.

The panel featured senior staff from the CPUC, CEC, and California Governor’s Office discussing energy data opportunities at their organizations and throughout the state. ┬áThe speakers provided an overview of regulatory and state efforts to increase access to data, described the various types and levels of data available, and highlighted existing and upcoming data sets.

The webinar was moderated by Mikhail Haramati of Opinion Dynamics, who framed the California work and data privacy rules in the context of a recent national effort to expand access and utilization of data to improve public-sector programs.


Audrey Lee, advisor to President Michael Peevey of the California Public Utilities Commission, showed examples of data already available and described plans for a centralized data repository.

Noting the varied uses of data, Ms. Lee described example use cases that the CPUC is using to develop a centralized data repository – a yet to be determined centralized location for data that the CPUC has jurisdiction over. The use cases cover a range of different users of data and includes local governments developing climate action plans, program implementers trying to improve programs, building owners wanting to improve the efficiency of their own buildings, other state entities looking to access utility data in order to complete benchmarking and other climate work, and nonprofits and other researchers who work in the policy space. The intention of the repository is to provide access to the data at an appropriate level of aggregation for researchers, government, advocates, and the larger market. The CPUC plans to open a new OIR rulemaking in the next few months in order to develop the repository.


The CEC’s Patrick Saxton, advisor to Commissioner McAllister of the California Energy Commission, explained the overarching importance of relevant, appropriately detailed information in policy decision-making with a quote from the Commissioner. Simply stating that “secure access to energy data is essential to a smarter energy future” – from innovative research planning to business development to local climate action planning. He also described the critical role that high-quality, detailed data plays in accurate load forecasting, procurement planning, and grid management.

CA Gov.’s Office

Randall Winston, special assistant to the executive secretary in the Office of California Governor Jerry Brown, spoke about the Governor’s Executive Order on Green Buildings. The landmark directive, B-18-12, requires state agencies to reduce their own energy use by 20% by the year 2018. The state is taking the lead on benchmarking over 1700 facilities in order to meet this target. California’s Department of General Services (DGS) is planning to publish state agency building energy consumption data in the fall of 2014.

The next webinar in this series will focus on best practices in use of energy data and will take place in late September.

California energy datasets currently available include: