New Commercial Building Asset Rating in the U.S.
Commercial building asset rating systems are in development in California and at the U.S. Department of Energy that will make a building’s energy efficiency potential more transparent, similar to an “MPG” rating for cars. This rating is complementary to the energy use ratings from the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. The attached interviews with program experts from California and the Department of Energy provide an overview of the new asset rating approaches.
Eliot Crowe, senior program manager at the consulting firm PECI, describes the rationale behind the California Energy Commission’s Building Energy Asset Rating System (BEARS). He co-authored a paper describing the technical approach to design of a rating system, including the modeling approach, development of a cost-effective field assessment protocol, and creation of an appropriate rating scale and graphical presentation.
Nora Wang, building research engineer with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, describes a U.S. Department of Energy program to develop a voluntary commercial building energy asset rating program. This system will evaluate the physical characteristics of the building as built and its overall energy efficiency, independent of its occupancy and operational choices. The program is now in a pilot testing phase.
Detailed information provided by energy asset rating systems can enable building owners, operators, and investors to identify, prioritize, and justify energy investments and strategies. They also provide a foundation for tracking building upgrades and their impact on performance over time.
DOE Commercial Building Energy Asset Rating: Market Research and Program Direction, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and U.S. Department of Energy, 2012.