Steps to Achieving Outcome-Based Energy Codes
Outcome-based energy codes require that a number of policy, data and administration pieces be put in place. Key steps in this process include:
- Better data about actual building performance is needed: Information about how the building stock is currently performing is sparse. More and better information about building performance must be made available to policymakers, code jurisdictions, and the market so that realistic building performance targets can be set. Some jurisdictions have adopted disclosure ordinances which require building owners to provide current building energy performance information to interested parties in a leasing or sale transaction.
- Adjustable tracking/reporting tools are needed: Tools and methodologies are needed for consistent reporting of building performance information. Although better disclosure information may allow jurisdictions to set building performance targets, these targets must account for typical variation in schedule, use, occupant density, and other factors associated with individual building use patterns.
- Commitment and enforcement mechanisms: Current code enforcement strategies generally end at the time of building completion (certificate of occupancy). In order to extend code scope into the operational life of the building, new incentives and enforcement mechanisms must be developed. These may take the form of performance bonds, annual inspections, utility rate accelerators, or other strategies.
- Metering capabilities: To manage operational energy use effectively, building operators and tenants must have access to good information about how the building is performing on an ongoing basis. This implies that various feedback and submetering capabilities must be integrated into the building design to enable real-time performance monitoring and response.