From Transparency to Transformation: A Market-Specific Methodology for a Commercial Building Energy Performance Rating System
29 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2013 Last revised: 27 Feb 2017
Date Written: October 21, 2013
The scaling of energy efficiency initiatives in the commercial building sector has been hampered by data limitations, information asymmetries, and benchmarking methodologies that do not adequately model patterns of energy consumption, nor provide accurate measures of relative energy performance. The reliance on simple metrics, such as Energy Use Intensity (EUI), fails to account for significant variation across occupancy, construction characteristics and other elements of a building – both its design and its users – that influence building energy efficiency. Using a unique dataset of building energy consumption, physical, spatial, and occupancy characteristics – collected from New York City’s Local Law 84 energy disclosure database, the Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database, and CoStar Group data – this paper analyzes energy consumption across commercial office buildings and presents a new methodology for a market-specific benchmarking model to measure relative energy performance. A robust predictive model is developed to normalize across multiple building characteristics and to provide the basis for a multivariate energy performance rank. The paper concludes with recommendations for data collection standards, computational approaches for building energy disclosure data, and targeted policies using k-means clustering and market segmentation.
Keywords: Energy efficiency, benchmarking, green buildings, energy performance, energy disclosure
JEL Classification: C50, D82, Q40, Q48, R15
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