DOE Develops Preliminary Commercial Building Energy Asset Score, Seeks Industry Input

The Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a preliminary commercial building energy asset score to apply to a large variety of commercial building types across the United States, and currently is seeking industry input on issues associated with the score. The score will look at a variety of a building’s aspects, including the building envelope, type of glazing used, etc.

The DOE originally announced the program’s development last spring.

The program is being developed as part of DOE’s effort to achieve a 20-percent improvement in the energy efficiency of commercial buildings by 2020, according to an announcement that appeared in a recent Federal Register.

The score, which will be implemented on a voluntary basis, was designed to provide information about a building’s major energy-consuming systems and their efficiencies and “is intended to enable greater understanding of building performance and potential savings,” according to an announcement from DOE.  Building owners and operators will be able to use a free online tool to generate the score, along with recommendations for how to improve the efficiency of their buildings.

The DOE has issued a request for information from stakeholders in the process about the program’s components, including:

1. Data collection and validation;

2. The asset score report; and

3. Score durability.

For data collection and validation, DOE is looking for comments “on the preliminary data classification, data collection time and method that can be used to maintain a balance between reasonable cost of data collection and acceptable accuracy of results.”

The actual score report will include four sections: a whole-building score, a system evaluation, identified opportunities for improvement, and a description of building assets. System evaluations will be provided for building components, including envelope (roof, wall, window), lighting, heating, cooling and service hot water systems. To this end, DOE is looking for comments on “critical information to be included in the energy asset score report and the methodology used to evaluate systems and generate recommendations.”

DOE expects the building score created to remain current for at least 10 years, “as long as the building does not undergo significant infrastructure changes including replacement of asset-related energy systems.”

Comments may be submitted to DOE in writing via direct mail or email on or before March 11. Comments should be emailed to asset.score@ee.doe.gov or mailed to: Joan Glickman, Attn: Commercial Building Asset Score RFI, EE–2J, 1000 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC20585.

DOE plans to conduct a pilot program for the scoring system late this spring. Those interested in participating in the pilot program should email  asset.score@ee.doe.gov with “Interested Pilot” in the subject line.

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