nzero 2024
Net zero has a new standard
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When it comes to carbon accounting and management, real estate operations are constantly seeking ways to improve accuracy, streamline reporting, and make a real impact on the environment– and the first joint guidance from PCAF, CRREM, and GRESB sets the expectation for carbon accounting and tracking for the industry. In this blog, we'll explore how NZero's cutting-edge platform not only meets these guidelines but goes beyond them, providing your business with the tools to not only confidently and efficiently tackle your sustainability goals and report impact accurately – but also mitigate risk and reduce operational costs.

Why Hourly Emission Factors Matter

The current standard approach to calculating energy usage and emissions information is inadequate, as it relies on outdated industry datasets and surveys, resulting in a misrepresentation of total usage and emissions by an average of 35%!

Many real estate operations are reliant on calculating energy consumption data from average annual energy use intensity (EUI) databases such as the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), a dataset from 2018.

On top of being over 5 years old, these EUI estimates do not take into consideration the unique characteristics of different properties and environmental factors, rendering these estimates incorrect and unsuitable for consequential reporting and decision-making. Additionally, utilizing the EPA eGRID dataset for converting energy consumption to GHG emissions results in an inaccurate assessment of energy emissions as the emission factors are two years out-of-date.

This is why it is essential to move away from the outdated and inadequate approaches to energy and emission calculations and embrace climate-technology that has developed for this purpose. Utilizing more accurate data sources and methods, such as hourly emission factors and real-time energy usage data, leads to more informed decisions on energy efficiency measures and sustainability initiatives. Accurate reporting of emissions is critical for real estate operations to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and meet regulatory requirements.

The new PCAF, CRREM, and GRESB joint guidance recognizes how problematic averages are in driving sustainable change and emphasizes the importance of using time-of-use, hourly emission factors (EFs) for calculating Scope 2 impact and driving decarbonization efforts. One of the key recommendations in the joint guidance is the use of hourly emission factors. As the guidance states,

time-of-use EFs...provide a more accurate assessment of real-world location-based emissions than annual variable EFs and are recommended for those able to acquire and handle them. 

Hourly carbon accounting provides the closest emissions estimation to actual emissions, capturing the variations in carbon intensity across daily and seasonal cycles. In other words, the emissions associated with using electricity at 1pm are different from those associated with using it at 1am. Measuring emissions at this granular level provides the most relevant and actionable GHG emissions data, helping to inform targeted demand-side actions and assisting in any decision-making process for the reporting organization and its stakeholders.

Hourly emission factors are the only way electricity emission data is comparable and responsive to decision-maker needs and available on timescales relevant to decision-making. Equipped with hourly, time-of-use data allows real estate operations to truly understand and reduce their Scope 2 impact and costs– and it ensures accurate reporting to stakeholders.

NZero's Advanced Grid Modeling Technology

The NZero Carbon Accounting and Management Platform is a cloud-based solution that optimizes building performance by providing automatic, hyper-granular emissions data and insights across all three scopes.

NZero is also the only solution capable of providing time-of-use emissions data to designed to meet the PCAF, CRREM, and GRESB technical guidance. 

NZero utilizes advanced grid modeling technology to gather accurate hourly energy consumption data directly from a customer's utility or meter and pairs it with hourly emission factors. This allows for more precise hourly intervals and more accurate emission factors for each hour, 24/7 hours a day. NZero also uses the best-available emission factors for other sources of emissions, such as vehicles, natural gas, employee travel, waste, and more. 

The platform enables customers to gain a deeper understanding of their buildings' carbon emissions and real-time energy usage, empowering them to make data-driven decisions to reduce their carbon footprint, operational costs, and compliance risks.

Streamlining Data Collection And Reporting

With NZero, data collection becomes a seamless process. Our platform automates data collection across your real estate operation, saving you time, money, and resources. As a result, you can focus on what really matters: decarbonizing, capital planning, reducing operational costs, and mitigating reporting and compliance risk.

One standout feature of NZero's platform is the GRESB data export, allowing you to easily export your entire real estate operation’s portfolio emissions data in a pre-formatted CSV. This eliminates the need for manual data gathering, calculations, and formatting, streamlining your reporting process and making it as easy as a click of a button.

Compliance and Transparency

Our reports are built to align with the GHG Protocol and future proof you for SEC regulations. They’re consistent with TCFD, GRESB, CDP, SASB, and GRI standards, ensuring 100% compliance to leading reporting frameworks and guidelines. Our real-time data and easy reporting tools empower your team to accurately build and communicate your carbon initiatives, avoiding greenwashing and promoting transparency.


NZero is the partner for real estate operations, preparing customers for a greener, more cost-effective, and compliant future. Our comprehensive carbon accounting and management platform is the only solution that meets the PCAF, CRREM, and GRESB joint guidance for calculating and reporting Scope 2 emissions. Our platform improves emission modeling and calculations and  improves reporting–so organizations can efficiently reduce emissions, costs, and risk.

For sustainability leaders, by sustainability leaders.