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Pilot Building Energy Labeling Program Launched by ASHRAE
A new program to provide information on the energy use of buildings, similar to a nutrition label on food or miles per gallon ratings on cars, has been launched. The program is administered by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
The Building Energy Quotient program, which will be known as Building EQ, will include both As Designed (asset) and In Operation (as operated) ratings for all building types, except residential. It also will provide a detailed certificate with data on actual energy use, energy demand profiles, indoor air quality and other information that will enable building owners to evaluate and reduce their building’s energy use.
Under the program, new buildings will be eligible to receive an As Designed rating, which provides an assessment of the building based on the components specified in the design and is based on the results of building energy modeling and simulation. An In Operation rating will be available once the building has at least one year of data on the actual energy use and is based on a combination of the structure of the building and how it is operated. Existing buildings would be eligible to receive both an As Designed and In Operation rating.
“The Building EQ program provides an easily understood scale to convey a building’s energy use in comparison to similar buildings, occupancy types and climate zone, while also providing building owners with building-specific information that can be used to improve building energy performance,” says Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president.
Holness notes that building energy use disclosure is already mandatory in California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Washington State; the European Union; and Australia.
Following completion of the pilot program in mid-June, the program is expected to be fully functional by the end of 2010. In parallel with this effort, ASHRAE has developed a certification program for building energy modelers.