Making The Grade Toward Building Performance Ratings That Drive Energy Efficiency
Building energy performance ratings are being used worldwide tap into the power of information and transparency to encourage investments in energy efficiency. Ratings are particularly important today because government policies are emerging in cities and countries around the world that require them to be both used and disclosed.
These ratings – similar in character to the efficiency ratings on appliances and the fuel economy ratings on cars – are extremely useful for comparing energy performance among buildings. They start, elevate and help standardize the discussion of building energy performance. But how can they be made more credible, more detailed and more meaningful to diverse stakeholders while keeping the rating simple?
At the Institute for Building Efficiency roundtable discussion on April 12th, 2013 the group focused on key challenges facing ratings today and the opportunities to improve ratings, including suggestions that:
Users must be educated about the limitations of ratings, so ratings aren’t misunderstood. Rating a building’s energy consumption is very different than rating its design. Users must understand when to supplement a rating with other analysis and metrics.
Ratings need to apply to the various phases in a building’s lifecycle; today, most ratings apply at one stage in a building’s life. BREEAM and BuildingiQ are notable exceptions, and LEED utilizes differing ratings, though the certification is not always differentiated by market participants.
Ratings need credible third-party information in order to make energy performance “bankable” to the financial community.
Read the Dialogue Summary "Building Ratings: Elevating The Discussion But Not Ending The Debate", and submit your thoughts below.