Building Performance Data Now Online

This week, Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) released 2015 building energy performance data for over 3,300 properties reporting data through Seattle’s Energy Benchmarking program. Overall, the data is showing an increase in building energy efficiency and drop in energy consumption. As Seattle aims to lead the nation in fighting climate change, the city is making data publicly available to create a long-term market demand for energy efficient buildings, protect tenant interests, and reward high performers.

Detailed building performance data is now available through the City of Seattle’s Open Data portal where users can download, sort, or filter the data. The portal displays a wide range of both building information—such as address, floor area, age, and building use characteristics—as well as energy performance metrics like energy use intensity (EUI), ENERGY STAR score, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Seattle’s Energy Benchmarking Map

The City of Seattle also developed a data visualization mapping tool to allow the public to quickly explore individual building performance and compare buildings across the city. Users can filter buildings by location, age, building type, and key energy performance metrics to learn more about the buildings in Seattle’s Energy Benchmarking program.

The release of benchmarking data builds on the Office of Sustainability and Environment’s commitment to increasing the accessibility of building performance information to motivate city-wide energy efficiency improvements. For these efforts, last week OSE received the 2017 ENERGY STAR® Award for Excellence in Data Innovation.

Learn more about the importance of data transparency here.

Read more about the ENERGY STAR award here.

Explore the 2015 benchmarking data here.

Seattle City Light Participating in Test of Innovative Circuit Breaker

A panel with the new circuit breaker installed.

Seattle City Light is participating in a pilot project led by EPRI and Eaton to test a new circuit breaker that will enable users to better understand and manage their energy usage.

Here’s the announcement from EPRI and Eaton:

EPRI, Eaton Commence Field Test of Innovative Circuit Breaker Technology Seeking to Demonstrate More Intelligent, Responsive Grid and Smarter Homes

PITTSBURGH (Oct. 26) — The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and power management company Eaton today announced a collaborative demonstration fielded by EPRI with utility providers across the United States to test a new Eaton circuit breaker designed to improve utility service reliability and optimize the grid. EPRI will test and evaluate the impact of Eaton’s energy management circuit breaker (EMCB) in the field, and the data from the testing will be provided to the participating utilities. The research results are anticipated to help participants better understand how to manage demand for electricity with the potential for more effective integration of new energy sources onto the grid, while also enabling homeowners to strategically manage their energy usage.

The field test will involve the installation of EMCBs by 12 utilities in approximately 500 homes across the country. EPRI will evaluate and analyze field test data as part of this collaborative research and development project with utilities, including American Electric Power, CenterPoint Energy, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Duke Energy, Exelon subsidiaries ComEd and Pepco, Nebraska Public Power District, Seattle City Light, Southern Company, and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.

“The EMCB technology puts some of the benefits of a smart, integrated grid in the hands of homeowners, and could transform the way consumers interact with electricity,” said Arshad Mansoor, EPRI senior vice president for research and development. “This field test also provides a real-time, in-home assessment of how the EMCB can improve utility service and optimize the grid by supporting demand response, distributed energy resources, solar installation monitoring, energy storage, and energy management.”

The EMCB combines circuit breaker technology, which provides circuit protection in the customer’s load center, with Internet connectivity and on-board intelligence. The EMCB makes a home’s circuits “smart” and provides better energy use information for residential energy management and for utility optimization of grid reliability. The devices can be used in new installations or retrofitted into existing home electrical panels without additional hardware.

“Eaton engineers reimagined fundamental power management technology, including the circuit breaker, to help utilities and consumers more actively and intelligently manage power,” said Joanne Edwards, senior vice president and general manager, Residential and Wiring Devices division at Eaton. “The field test will help us accelerate the development of the energy management circuit breaker, while also providing data on device lifecycle management, over-the-air firmware updates, and communication architectures that can be applied across our solutions for residential and utility customers.”

The device combines Eaton’s miniature circuit breaker technology with secure Wi-Fi communications, utility-grade metering, and load control to help support grid optimization. The Eaton circuit breakers also leverage the simple-to-install and maintain Internet of Things connectivity platform from Electric Imp. Eaton collaborated with Electric Imp, co-founded by Hugo Fiennes, to ensure the EMCBs and their managed services are secure, flexible, reliable, and scalable.

For more information, visit

About EPRI
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI members represent 90 percent of the electric utility revenue in the United States with international participation in 35 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Lenox, Massachusetts.

About Eaton

Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection; backup power protection; control and automation; lighting and security; structural solutions and wiring devices; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer today’s most critical electrical power management challenges.

Eaton is a power management company with 2015 sales of $20.9 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 95,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit

Seattle City Light Named an Environmental Champion

Seattle City Light has been named a 2016 Environmental Champion by Cogent Reports.

The award is based on the results from Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Residential, a Cogent Reports study by Market Strategies International.

City Light was one of the highest rated utilities in the study, which looked at electric, natural gas and combination utilities.

In 2005, Seattle City Light became the first electric utility in the nation to reach carbon neutral status. We have the longest-running energy conservation program in the country. We are actively involved in protecting fish and wildlife. And we promote renewable energy development.

City Light’s Integrated Resource Plan Adapts to Changing Environment

The 2016 Seattle City Light Integrated Resource Plan examines an array of power options to help position the utility towards the future. The plan focuses on being the least cost and most environmentally friendly, and achieves the utility’s goal of being a leader in environmental stewardship.

With various changes in the market – including technological advances, new codes and evolving customer behaviors – the utility has seen a lower energy demand even with an increasing customer population. Seattle City Light’s IRP adapts to these changes and assesses what energy resources the utility has; what it will need based on reliability, cost, risk and environmental impact; and then how to get there through power supply decisions that come from customer, stakeholder and public input.

City Light’s core findings include:

  • New utility energy efficiency programs are expected to be the most cost effective resource towards reducing future power supply needs
  • City Light plans to meet its renewable portfolio standard obligations through 2023 with its existing resource portfolio, new energy efficiency, hydro-efficiency upgrades and previously acquired renewable energy credits

Based on these findings, City Light will work to do the following over the next two years:

  • Continue investing in cost-effective energy efficiency
  • Serve the retail load with City Light’s existing resources portfolio, short-term markets, and other transactions to reshape seasonal electricity demands, where needed
  • Continue environmental leadership by evaluating factors such as climate change that impact hydro generation, electricity demand, and fish populations.
  • Monitor new resource and energy efficiency options including their costs and ability to meet City Light’s future resource needs

To view the 2016 Seattle City Light IRP, please visit:

About Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

Seattle wins EPEAT Purchaser Award

As a publicly-owned utility, City Light has a deep commitment to our community. Part of that commitment is environmental stewardship, and we recognize that our purchasing choices can have an environmental impact. This year, our efforts to reduce that impact were honored with an EPEAT Purchaser Award from the Green Electronics Council.

Electronics are essential to operating any modern office, but they are also a source of potentially toxic materials (for example, PVC or mercury) and often waste energy through inefficient operations. To address these concerns, the City of Seattle has made it a policy to buy computers with at least a Bronze rating from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, also known as EPEAT.

In 2015, City Light purchased 370 computers rated EPEAT Gold. Over the lifetime of these hyper-efficient computers, 232 MWh of electricity will be saved and 38,600 kg of greenhouse gas emissions will be prevented. Over 3,000 lbs of municipal solid waste were prevented through the use of recycled materials in both the computer and packaging materials.

And the environmental payoff of purchasing through the EPEAT system gets better: All of our computers meet the European Union RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) criteria and are free of cadmium, hexavalent chromium and short-chain chlorinated paraffins.  Our desktop standard is even free of PVC, which the City Council addressed in a 2002 resolution to avoid purchasing Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins.

As a result of a proactive approach to reducing environmental harm in our purchasing practices, Seattle was rewarded with a 2016 EPEAT Purchaser Award at the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council meeting on May 23, 2016. Of course, the environmental benefits of sustainable purchasing are the true rewards, and the real winner is the planet.