Existing buildings with aging equipment and infrastructure represent a tremendous opportunity for energy savings. But, without a mechanism to identify inefficient buildings and prioritize budgets for upgrades, it’s difficult to know where to start. Under a pilot program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and NBI are using measured energy use data to track consumption of existing building stock and tag the worst performers.
The project is intended to help cities with policy mechanisms to encourage those target buildings identified for improvements to significantly lower their total energy use. In most cities, the energy code is the primary way of regulating building energy performance, but energy codes have a limited impact on already existing buildings. “Although many jurisdictions have adopted significant energy code advancements, few cities recognize how much potential energy savings exist in improvements to existing buildings. Addressing the worst performing buildings can save as much energy as stringent new codes, while reducing operating cost and improving building comfort and performance” said Mark Frankel NBI’s technical director. The Community Building Renewal pilot will give cities a toolkit that will help them to track and identify the worst performing buildings, including a selection of performance-based energy policies to choose from. The City of Boise has agreed to be the first pilot location in the Northwest. Read NEEA’s full press release