Following preliminary analysis that ASHRAE/IES’s 2013 energy efficiency standard contains energy savings over the 2010 standard, the DOE has issued a ruling establishing the 2013 standard as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes.

In an announcement in the Sept. 26, 2014 edition of The Federal Register, the DOE attributes the greater energy savings to improvements in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, related to several areas, including better lighting, fans, commercial refrigeration, and boilers.

According to ASHRAE, the determination means that states are required to update their codes to meet or exceed the 2013 standard within two years. Currently, states must meet or exceed the 2010 standard, which serves as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the federal Energy Conservation and Production Act.

“ASHRAE is pleased with this ruling from the DOE, recognizing the energy savings measures in the standard,” said ASHRAE President Tom Phoenix. “Standard 90.1 was an original cornerstone in our efforts to improve building performance, and we continue to strive to increase its efficiency in the future.”

Among the eight addenda that are identified as having a major positive impact on energy efficiency, IES notes that three are attributed to lighting changes according to Rita Harrold, IES director of technology. These address control requirements for lighting alterations, additional controls for more spaces with a shortened time to lighting reduction or shutoff, and a decrease in lighting power density in most building types to reflect changes in revisions to illuminance recommendations in theIES Lighting Handbook, 10th edition.

The DOE noted that the 2013 standard contains 52 positive impacts on energy efficiency that were incorporated into the analysis. These impacts included changes made through the public review process in which users of the standard comment and offer guidance on proposed requirements. Specifically the major positive impacts include:

• Control requirements for lighting alternations

• New requirements for individual fans

• Reduction of energy usage for large boilers

• Reduction of fan energy usage

• New efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration

• More controls in more spaces and reduction of time to reduction or shut off of those controls

• Reduction of lighting power density in most building types.