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ASHRAE announces changes to methodology for bEQ Program

July 30, 2014
KEYWORDS ASHRAE / bEQ
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To allow greater uniformity for building types seeking an “In Operation” rating under its Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program, ASHRAE says it is now using methodology from its standard for energy efficiency in existing buildings to calculate the rating.

The bEQ program, a method of rating and labeling buildings based on energy use, offers two rating labels: an “As Designed” label that rates the building’s expected energy use under standardized conditions — independent of the building’s occupancy and usage variables — and an “In Operation” label that rates the building’s actual metered energy use as influenced by the building’s occupancy, structure, and usage. According to ASHRAE, bEQ helps owners and managers zero in on opportunities to lower building operating costs and make informed decisions on energy reduction strategies.

Previous to this change, the In Operation rating relied on Energy Star Portfolio Manager to provide a normalized median energy use index (EUI) for the rating calculation. Unfortunately, this normalization was only available for those buildings that were covered by Portfolio Manager, so all other building types, such as convenience stores, libraries, fire stations, and restaurants, had no methodology for this normalization.

“The change to this new methodology provides several advantages for those who are submitting buildings for In Operation ratings,” said Ross Montgomery, bEQ Committee chair. “The new methodology allows greater uniformity for many more available building types, which should result in better rating comparisons since those buildings are now able to get a normalized energy use index. In addition, submission forms are now easier to use with more of the information/calculation automated and with expanded explanations, definitions, and instructions to help better classify a candidate building.”

Montgomery explained that the updated bEQ workbooks use methodology from one of the appendices of Standard 100, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings. This methodology allows generation of median EUIs by climate zone for all building types covered in the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), maintained by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

He notes that similar changes are planned for the As Designed rating, which currently uses Target Finder to calculate the median EUI for normalization.

Given the updated improvements for the In Operation rating, ASHRAE is offering a four-month limited offer to qualified ASHRAE members, allowing them to submit for two ratings with no registration/submission fee from July 30, 2014, until Nov. 30, 2014.

The offer is extended to ASHRAE members who are certified by ASHRAE as Building Energy Assessment Professionals (BEAP) or Building Energy Modeling (BEMP) Professionals, or professional engineers (PE) licensed in the jurisdiction where the rated building is located.

For more information on the offer, visit www.buildingenergyquotient.org.

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