COVID-19’s impact on occupancy levels and tenant energy usage in NYC commercial office buildings.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#commercialrealestate–utiliVisor, a leader in utility submetering and plant optimization, is participating in the NYSERDA PropTech Challenge, which seeks to better understand the correlation between building occupancy and tenant energy usage by looking at data from a specific NYC commercial office building during COVID-19.

NYSERDA challenged energy industry leaders to improve understanding of the drivers of electricity consumption within sub-metered office space in NYC. The Challenge:

  • Understand how COVID-19 impacted building occupancy levels and tenant energy usage.
  • Determine if there is a correlation between building occupancy and tenant energy usage.
  • Identify the factors that go into predicting tenant energy usage.

“The PropTech Challenge will help all of us better budget, estimate, and understand tenant energy use during a pandemic catastrophe. Our initial expectations of reduced tenant energy use changed daily as we watched and analyzed tenant conditions, their demands for energy, and their eventual energy use.” – Dave Harroun, utiliVisor’s Chief Technology Officer

utiliVisor imported the NYSERDA-provided raw data into utiliVisor’s suite of analytics tools that automatically normalize all timestamps and apply null field techniques.

Using utiliVisor’s 40+ years of historical data and experience, the team examined the data patterns, and assumptions were formulated and displayed on an easy-to-digest and actionable platform.

The energy engineers and analysts on utiliVisor’s operations team analyzed the data. They could determine occupancy levels, business hours, holiday schedules, and even when the cleaning crew arrived and left the space.

The data was entered into statistical analysis tools, partitioned by the hour of the day, day of the week, the month of the year, and season, which helped identify outliers and visualize the data within the model.

Using the supplied NYC commercial building data, utiliVisor built predictive models to determine energy efficiency from a tenant and building perspective. For tenants, predictors included time of day, day of the week, building occupancy, and outside air temperature.

From a building perspective, in early June 2020, as the building reached higher outside temperatures, the shutdown of ConEd Utilities steam consumers had drastic impacts on building energy efficiency.

To see more about the process utiliVisor used and their answers to NYSERDA’s PropTech Challenge questions, view utiliVisor’s submission video.

Data Modeling & NYC Local Law 97

For the purposes of the Challenge, tenant energy data modeling addressed the challenges of COVID-19. However, it can also prove valuable to NYC building owners who soon need to comply with the upcoming NYC Local Laws.

To comply with Local Law 97, building owners need tenant submetering solutions that make sense for their specific situations.

Using many of the same analytics tools used in the Challenge, utiliVisor and its Operations Center can help building owners understand their tenant submetered data and metrics, check it for accuracy, and provide that information in an understandable format for tenants and building owners.

Driving change requires direct, succinct communication and showing measured results to building tenants and owners. This transparency helps owners avoid the penalties associated with non-compliance.

“utiliVisor has been working with NYSERDA for years and has applied our services to many projects throughout NYC and the country with great success. Bringing attention to the importance of submetering data to drive energy awareness and solutions is well within our capabilities and we are glad the industry is highlighting the importance of this.” – Tim Angerame, utiliVisor’s Chief Operating Officer

For more information on utiliVisor’s PropTech Challenge 2021 findings and to access the raw data, click here.

About utiliVisor

utiliVisor is NOT a software-only company.

When you use utiliVisor’s utility submetering and energy plant optimization services, you get an Operations Center that ensures accurate energy insights to save you money while increasing energy efficiencies.

With more than 40 years of industry data, our engineers and analysts provide an on-going review of your data for accuracy and then benchmark it against industry standards. For more information about utiliVisor, please visit us at


Kathy Fealy


Marketing Director