November 2010

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 EMAIL INTERVIEW - Brian Dawson & Ken Sinclair

Brian Dawson, Chairman and CEO of Calico Energy

Brian Dawson Dawson’s company Calico Energy is encouraging ENERGY STAR participation across the nation by helping utility providers extend automated ENERGY STAR programs to building managers. Calico’s award-winning Green Certification™ software facilitates the submission of building-wide energy usage data, radically simplifying the process of organizing and sharing energy data by serving as an automated bridge between existing back-end utility data systems and the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Green Certification helps building managers take full advantage of ENERGY STAR to examine and compare their buildings’ usage history. Using this information, building managers are empowered to develop new energy-saving strategies and measure their effect. Calico is an ENERGY STAR partner.


Obtaining ENERGY STAR certification has been shown to translate into a three percent premium in rental value and a sixteen percent increase in sale price for commercial buildings
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Sinclair:  What are the main benefits of enrolling in ENERGY STAR?

Dawson:  ENERGY STAR participation gives building managers and facility owners the tools and information they need to pinpoint where they can reduce their energy consumption to meet government regulations, save costs and reduce their impact on the environment. By recording, reviewing and acting upon energy consumption behaviors, an organization shows its dedication to helping fight global warming.

Furthermore, building managers can quantify the impact of operational improvements and increase their property value. For example, obtaining ENERGY STAR certification has been shown to translate into a three percent premium in rental value and a sixteen percent increase in sale price for commercial buildings (source: Doing Well By Doing Good, Green Office Buildings, September 2009). Bottom line, the ENERGY STAR label is synonymous with a lower cost of operation.

Sinclair:  How much time will I need to invest weekly when participating in ENERGY STAR?

Dawson:  There are two common approaches to participating in ENERGY STAR– manual tracking and data entry, which can be time consuming, and Automated programs. Automated programs require a short time investment of about 15 minutes per month with very fast set up (see how CommonWealth Edison has deployed an automated program for the building managers in its service area here: Putting ENERGY STAR Certification Within Reach of Commercial Buildings

contemporary Sinclair:  What types of actions can be taken by reviewing information calculated/provided/organized by ENERGY STAR?

Dawson:  ENERGY STAR provides building managers with a clear view into their energy usage trends and behaviors. Using this information, building managers can take concerted steps to bring energy consumption within their target goals. For example, if a building manager determines energy costs don’t dip significantly overnight when tenants are not populating certain office space, they can design, roll out and begin enforcing power down policies where occupants power down systems that don’t need to be left on. ENERGY STAR even provides all the reporting building managers need to track the effectiveness and impact of these types of initiatives.

Sinclair:  How can information collected in ENERGY STAR help me work toward meeting other regulations?

Dawson:  Since ENERGY STAR has become so successful, it is now being incorporated as the standard yard stick by which buildings are measured for demanding standards such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2009. ENERGY STAR records can even be shared across with LEEDs, saving time and resources (two birds, one stone!).

A full list of regulations that ENERGY STAR helps utilities and building managers meet can be found here:

Sinclair:  How can I ensure my tenants' privacy is protected when participating in ENERGY STAR?

Dawson:  Some automated ENERGY STAR programs utilize enterprise-class data security systems and data aggregation to ensure all customer records are safe. This approach eliminates privacy concerns and permission requirements by aggregating individual customer data and making it anonymous. Building managers can then have total confidence in the calculation, storage and transmission of their information.

Privacy and security protocols vary across utility providers; building managers should ask their utility for more information.

For more information about ENERGY STAR for buildings, please visit:


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