Assessing Your Building Energy Costs: Benefits of Energy Modeling to Owners

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Keith Swartz of the Energy Center of Wisconsin presents Assessing Your Building Energy Costs: Benefits of Energy Modeling to Owners at the 2012 Chicago Energy Modeling Conference.

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Assessing Your Building Energy Costs: Benefits of Energy Modeling to Owners

  1. 1. Keith Swartz Energy Center of WisconsinComEd New Construction Program Nicor New Construction Program Illinois ASHRAE Modeling Conference February 14, 2012
  2. 2.  Building Energy Model Basics Reasons to do a Building Energy Model Selecting an Energy Modeler Information Exchange with the Modeler Economic Analysis and Decision Making
  3. 3.  A computer simulation that estimates the energy use and energy cost of a building Simple or complex Accounts for system interactions Existing or new building
  4. 4.  Limitations  No program is perfect  Many inputs are assumed  Only an estimate  Does not make decision for you
  5. 5.  Building Energy Model Basics Reasons to do a Building Energy Model Selecting an Energy Modeler Information Exchange with the Modeler Economic Analysis and Decision Making
  6. 6.  Provide information for a decision  Often energy cost savings for potential upgrades  Prevent bad decisions based on bad hunches Determine number of LEED® credits Documentation for tax credit Identify where your energy dollars are going Estimate future energy use or cost
  7. 7.  Low-energy building  Small  Simple Energy not a concern Insufficient time in project schedule No local qualified energy modelers
  8. 8.  Building Energy Model Basics Reasons to do a Building Energy Model Selecting an Energy Modeler Information Exchange with the Modeler Economic Analysis and Decision Making
  9. 9.  Where to find an energy modeler • Architectural firm • Engineering firm • Energy consulting firm (ESCO) • Sustainable building consultant • Independent modeling consultant • Utility Be very specific in the contract
  10. 10.  What to look for in an energy modeler • Knowledge of buildings • Knowledge of the software used • Quality control procedures • ASHRAE certification as a Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP) • Can generate energy saving ideas
  11. 11.  What to look for in an energy modeler • Able to communicate and summarize • Flexibility with deliverables • LEED modeling experience (if applicable) • Construction cost estimating (optional) • Financial analysis (optional)
  12. 12.  Building Energy Model Basics Reasons to do a Building Energy Model Selecting an Energy Modeler Information Exchange with the Modeler Economic Analysis and Decision Making
  13. 13.  Reason for doing the energy model Deliverable Location of the building People Lights Plugged in equipment HVAC systems
  14. 14.  Building drawings Utility rates List of options to evaluate For existing buildings add • As much detail as possible on the above items • Past utility bills, 3 years • Submeter data (if any)
  15. 15.  Depends on why the model was done The deliverable
  16. 16.  Other questions to ask • How do the results compare to similar buildings? • What were the major assumptions? • For existing buildings…  How close does the model match utility data?  Was actual weather data used or “typical” year?
  17. 17.  Building Energy Model Basics Reasons to do a Building Energy Model Selecting an Energy Modeler Information Exchange with the Modeler Economic Analysis and Decision Making
  18. 18.  Who will do the economic analysis? What is the acceptance criteria? • Simple payback  Consider how long until the component will be replaced • ROI • Life cycle cost – best for long-term economics  Use appropriate life cycle period for each component
  19. 19.  Factors to consider • Energy cost savings (from the energy model) • Cost to implement the upgrade • Maintenance cost savings • Reduced investment due to smaller heating/cooling equipment • Inflation • Discount Rate • Tax benefits • Utility rebates / incentives • Years to component replacement
  20. 20.  Uncertainty of implementation cost  Get quotes  Be careful using a crude estimate in the analysis  Consider determining the present value of future savings – “break-even” cost  Easy to compare to an uncertain implementation cost when bids come in  If the bid is less than the break-even cost, then the upgrade is beneficial
  21. 21.  Consider checking sensitivity  Energy cost savings estimates and implementation costs are uncertain  Check a range of values
  22. 22.  Building Energy Model Basics Reasons to Do a Building Energy Model Selecting an Energy Modeler Information Exchange with the Modeler Economic Analysis and Decision Making

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