News Brief

Energy Disclosure Laws Prompt New Standard for Rating Systems

Basic requirements for labeling and disclosure underlie a proposed ASHRAE standard for building energy labels. 

As cities and states begin to require building owners to disclose energy use, government agencies are evaluating the labels and rating systems that facilitate such transparency and wondering which is best.

In response, ASHRAE is proposing a standard that outlines the characteristics of a valid rating system. Once complete, the standard could be adopted as an underlying requirement in legislation or policy.

Standard 214P—based on input from the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Green Building Council, and developers of ASHRAE’s own labeling program, Building Energy Quotient (bEQ)—focuses on ensuring a rating system’s methodology is transparent so that “users know what they are getting,” Wayne Stoppelmoor, CEM, chair of the committee, told BuildingGreen.

Most of the requirements are things current labels and rating systems already do, such as describing the parameters and methodology used to predict or measure energy use, clearly defining the inputs that affect the score of a building, and providing a methodology for comparing a rated building to similar buildings in the same climate zone.

However, having a standard will encourage consistency going forward and serve as a guideline for developing future rating systems.

Some of the questions that are up for discussion during public comment include:

  1. How should indoor environmental quality be addressed in a building energy rating system?
  2. Should “consensus-based” development be a minimum requirement? If so, with a public review process or balanced committee?
  3. Should this standard address energy produced by the building?

The proposed standard remained open for public comment through September 28, 2015.

More on measuring energy performance

Energy Reporting: It’s the Law

New Energy Data Is Changing How We Judge Efficiency—And LEED

NYC Buildings Gain Three Energy Star Points in Year Two

Published October 3, 2015

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