May 13, 2011
The recent announcements regarding the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) decision to not release the results of the 2007 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), and to halt work on the 2011 edition of the Survey, have prompted The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to request action.
EIA has opted not to release the 2007 CBECS results— a national sample survey that collects information on the stock of U.S. commercial buildings, their energy-related characteristics, energy consumption and expenditures—and has suspended work on a 2011 Survey due to statistical issues and funding cuts, respectively.
ASHRAE has issued a letter strongly urging Congress to include funding for CBECS in the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bills to allow work on the 2011 edition of the Survey to continue. This is particularly important in light of the 2007 CBECS data discrepancies.
“Information from CBECS plays a critical role in building energy efficiency through the many federal and private sector programs that use the Survey’s data in their efforts to establish benchmark levels and promote energy efficient practices, including ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient (Building eQ) program,” Lynn G. Bellenger, P.E., ASHRAE president, said. “Additionally, many of ASHRAE’s committees depend upon CBECS to help develop some of the standards in use by the federal government, states and local jurisdictions.”
Currently, the latest version of CBECS data is from 2003. If funding is not provided, work on the 2011 CBECS data will not continue, and the government and industry will be forced to rely on data that is nearly a decade old and in need of revisions and enhancements, resulting in potential missed opportunities to increase building efficiency and reduce energy use.