News Analysis

Key Energy Data Hit Hard by Federal Budget Cuts

The only program of its kind, CBECS gathers a massive amount of hard data on energy use of all kinds within the nation’s commercial building stock. The 2003 survey looked at 5,200 buildings, representing about 72 billion square feet of space. The data is used, among other things, to support energy-efficiency benchmarking in a variety of contexts, including the LEED rating systems, the 2030 Challenge, Energy Star Portfolio Manager and Target Finder, and energy modeling tools.

“It’s dismaying,” said Mark Frankel, technical director for the New Buildings Institute, in response to the news. “There’s more interest now in actual building performance than there's ever been before,” he said. Noting the rise of energy efficiency programs and building performance disclosures, Frankel asked, “How are we going to know how well we're doing” without new CBECS data?

Published May 3, 2011