DOE to Pilot Commercial Building Energy
Asset Rating Program
March 15, 2012
by Penny Stacey, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to begin piloting a new commercial
building energy asset rating program this May. Details about the
program, designed to allow building owners to assess a building's
energy performance, were shared during a DOE webinar today that
featured Cody Taylor, project manager for the program, and Nora
Wang of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
"Energy asset rating evaluates a building's typical energy
characteristics," said Wang.
The asset rating will take many parts of the building's make-up
into account, including windows and glass used. "If each building
is a puzzle, its energy-using outcome is the combination of many
different pieces," said Wang. "This information is important
to building owners and investors to gain insight into the building's
efficiency and improvement potential."
The first, piloted phase of the program will look at office buildings,
educational buildings, retail buildings and unrefrigerated warehouses,
and DOE currently is looking for companies willing to participate
in the pilot phase. After that, the program likely will be expanded
to other types of buildings in two separate phases.
Wang stressed that the Energy Asset Rating Program does not replace
the similar Energy Star Portfolio Manager. "The energy asset
rating program is a complement to the Energy Star Portfolio Manager,"
According to information from DOE, the Portfolio Manager "compares
an existing building to its peers through an analysis of that building's
energy bills and operational characteristics."
"In any given building, a number of factors influence energy
use and the outcomes measured by the energy bill," writes the
DOE. "The asset rating will help segregate some of these factors-those
related to the physical infrastructure of the building. The ability
to see these factors in isolation enables building stakeholders
to better determine whether higher-than-expected energy use is due
to inefficient physical infrastructure and specific building systems
or to the occupancy, operations, or other factors."
Energy asset ratings will be assessed through a web-based tool
that provides both simple and advanced input options.
Simple level input will allow users to input minimal data, and
receive a preliminary energy asset rating report. "Advanced
level data collection requires a more detailed input set and is
suitable for making public statements about a verified energy rating,"
The final report provides users with a current energy asset rating;
a potential energy asset rating if operational upgrades, such as
advanced glazing, were installed; and what a typical rating might
look like for a similar building.
"The energy asset score may indicate that a building has very
energy-efficient systems even if its Energy Star score is low because
of unusual operations," said Wang. "The energy asset rating
may [even] positively impact the value of a building that may appear
to be inefficient."
DOE officials expect the tool to be of use to commercial building
owners, investors, and operators, while the reports it generates
can then be utilized by utility companies, designers, engineers,
local governments, financing sources and valuation experts.
"We're developing this energy asset rating as one piece of
the puzzle," Taylor added. "Obviously Energy Star already
exists and it's a complement to that, but we're not calling it part
of the portfolio, because we don't want any confusion. But really
this is a complement [to the Energy Star program]."
Further information is available on the DOE's website.