Thermostat Tweaks in Big Buildings Can Save Millions (and it's not new technology!)

By Curt Woodward for Xconomy

The next time you’re fighting with someone at work about the office temperature, you might have a holier-than-thou trump card.

A new analysis from Retroficiency, a developer of energy efficiency software, predicts that changes in building temperature as small as one degree could save millions of dollars in urban energy costs per year.

That insight is one of several that surfaced in a recent examination of commercial real estate in New York City, part of a broader data-analysis effort that Boston-based Retroficiency is calling the Building Genome Project.

By marrying publicly available data about building design and energy use with its in-house analytics, the company says it hopes to identify big opportunities for efficiency savings in the largest cities around the country.

“We want the genome to be an open project,” CEO Bennett Fisher said. “We absolutely encourage others to provide their input on what cities we should do next, what other energy efficiency scenarios we should model, and any other data that can help us to make this project more inclusive and more useful.”

In its analysis of more than 30,000 commercial buildings in New York, Retroficiency says it found that small, seasonal changes in building temperatures could save $145 million, or about 2 percent of the energy consumed across the entire group being studied.Retro-Graph-1