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About the Energy Data Management Guide

The Energy Data Management Guide provides public-sector organizations with a seven-step approach to establish a robust and sustainable energy data management program—the foundation for strategic energy management. By following the proven practices outlined in the Energy Data Management Guide's seven-step framework, organizations can reduce energy use, save taxpayer dollars, demonstrate leadership, improve the efficiency of operations, and create a culture of accountability and high performance.

Please note: The references to vendors' products or services in the Energy Data Management Guide are provided solely as optional resources; the U.S. Department of Energy and the Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office do not endorse or otherwise make any representations about these vendors' products or services or the organizations that provide them. Any issues or concerns with any of the products or services should be directed to the service providers, not the U.S. Department of Energy.

Purpose and Background

The purpose of the Energy Data Management Guide is to:

  • Serve as a how-to guide for implementing an energy data management program
  • Assist public-sector organizations in developing the value proposition they can bring to their leadership to invest in data-driven energy management
  • Provide evidence-based solutions for data-driven energy management that are broadly replicable and applicable to other public-sector organizations
  • Help public-sector organizations chart a feasible energy data management strategy based on these solutions.

The foundation of the Energy Data Management Guide is built around in-depth interviews conducted in 2013–2014 with more than 80 individuals from states; local governments; K-12 school districts; and industry experts from the federal government, private sector, and nongovernmental organizations. More recently, additional research and stakeholder engagement have helped to further inform and refine the guide. Learn more about the methodology. On average, research shows these organizations are achieving sustained energy savings of 2% a year. Learn more about the individuals and organizations that were interviewed and reviewed the guide, see acknowledgements.

The results from that research, plus the supplemental tips, tools, resources, examples, and case studies highlighted throughout the guide, provide replicable solutions to help public-sector organizations implement or refine a data-driven energy management program.


The Energy Data Management Guide is targeted to public-sector officials from states, local governments, and K-12 school districts responsible for managing energy and/or energy-using assets in their organizations.


  • 50 states, 77,000 local governments, and 13,000 public K-12 school districts in the United States[1] own and operate 18 billion square feet of building space[2] across the United States.
  • State and local government buildings consume 3,075 trillion British thermal units (source energy) annually at a cost of $29 billion per year.[3]
  • Buildings benchmarked in ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager™ showed average energy savings of 2.4% per year.[4]
  • The average commercial building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes.[5]


  • If all state and local government buildings were benchmarked and saved at least 2.4% annually, the resulting energy and cost savings would be approximately 74 trillion British thermal units (Btus) and more than $700 million per year[6]
  • A 30% improvement in state and local government buildings can deliver an estimated 920 trillion Btus and $8.8 billion in annual savings.[7]

Glossary of terms