ASHRAE has announced that its building energy rating and labeling program known as Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) now qualifies as an energy rating option for buildings in the state of Florida.
Florida Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 7147, which qualifies the bEQ program as an approved system. The provisions in the bill amend a 2013 Florida law specifying requirements for energy ratings for all residential, commercial, and state-owned buildings.
“ASHRAE commends the state of Florida for recognizing the importance of requiring collection of the information necessary for making informed decisions about the energy use of buildings where we live, work, and play,” said ASHRAE President Bill Bahnfleth. “The ultimate goal of the bEQ program is to promote more energy efficient buildings and give owners more control over rising energy costs. Understanding a building's energy use characteristics is the critical first step in identifying and implementing measures that will economically and responsibly reduce energy use and costs.”
ASHRAE felt interpretations of the original 2013 law were incorrect, raising questions about how a person or company becomes qualified or approved to provide this rating. In recent months, ASHRAE says it worked on an amendment to better define what constitutes an approved building energy efficiency rating system. Under the change, the bEQ program qualifies as an approved system. The bill becomes effective July 1, 2014.
The bEQ is a building energy rating and labeling program, offering two labels: an “As Designed” label that rates the building design’s potential energy use under standardized conditions — independent of the building’s occupancy and usage — and an “In Operation” label that rates the building’s actual measured metered energy use as influenced by the building’s occupancy, operation, and usage.