Powering Strong Communities

NREL Software Helps Municipality Electrification Efforts By Streamlining Energy Audits

New York has become the first city to adopt software developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that aims to help building owners meet electrification goals.

The software, BuildingSync, helps building owners make smart renovation investments by allowing “data to be more easily aggregated, compared, and exchanged between different databases and software tools, streamlining the energy audit process,” Lauren Adams, data science researcher in NREL’s building technologies and science center who took the lead in developing the software, said in a statement.

New York City adopted the “BuildingSync platform to identify, prioritize, and reduce emissions across its nearly billion-square-feet assortment of buildings,” Ben Levine, buildee program manager, said in a statement. “With this BuildingSync integration, building owners across the city now can access a centralized energy management platform to track climate action goals, map actions to those goals, and comply with local laws, all while reducing their utility costs and adding value to their buildings.”

"Every building is unique," Nicholas Long, NREL senior research engineer, said in a statement. “The only way to address energy and decarbonization compliance is through data management tools that help people continuously track building performance and to look at the bigger picture.”

Building data management involves a range of information, including heating-ventilation-air-conditioning systems, windows, architecture, insulation, and regional climate. By creating a standardized language to easily aggregate, compare, and exchange energy data between vendors, BuildingSync helps cities make progress toward benchmarking goals, auditing compliance, evaluating program performance, and analyzing trends, NREL said.

The Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office funded development of the software, which was incorporated by buildee, a software platform used by utilities, municipalities, property owners, and energy services providers to rapidly identify and prioritize energy and carbon dioxide reduction opportunities in commercial buildings.


The New York City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services and Department of Energy Management also contributed to the development of BuildingSync capabilities within buildee that streamline compliance and reporting for mandated energy audits for commercial buildings in the city.


The project is ongoing, so the focus is about how the technology helps streamline local compliance into the buildee product for market use, Levine said. The goal is to provide tools to help private owners and municipalities make educated investment decisions around energy efficiency and decarbonization, he said.

NREL said the BuildingSync team is in the process of informing more cities nationwide about how the software can streamline the energy audit process for them.