New DOE Effort To Standardize The Energy Efficiency Data Dictionary

By: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant, Environmental Defense Fund

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a new report that will serve as a data analysis tool for the energy performance of commercial and residential buildings. By providing a standardized approach for the evaluation of energy data, the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES) will help optimize energy efficiency efforts.

BEDES provides a common language for key data elements to help a range of stakeholders communicate more effectively. The use of established formats, terms and definitions will allow for smoother interaction between contractors, software vendors, finance companies, utilities, and Public Utility Commissions. As a result, information can be shared and aggregated without laborious scrubbing and translation, which will help more rapidly answer the key questions related to energy savings and financial performance that remain barriers to energy efficiency adoption at scale.

We are pleased that the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) was highlighted as one of five key projects aligned with BEDES goals, and prioritized for collaboration as the project moves forward.  The Executive Summary (page 4) of the report clearly expresses some of the key data issues and potential solutions that this ambitious project will attempt to solve.

ICP has defined a standard set of documentation that defines an “Investment Quality Energy Efficiency” project through its lifecycle, from baselining through commissioning and measurement and verification (M&V).  However, we have long believed that many of the key data elements would be significantly more useful if expressed as standardized XML versus the current range of formats. ICP applauds this important effort and looks forward to collaborating with fellow stakeholders and the DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) team.

The beta version of BEDES and the BEDES Scoping Report are both available online.

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