New guidelines released to help energy managers bridge the energy performance gap in buildings


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Facilities managers and building operators searching for best-in-class solutions designed to bridge the energy performance gap in their building portfolio will receive a helping hand from the BRE Trust and the Energy Services and Technology Association in the form of a set of guidelines published in their latest report – “Bridging the performance gap – understanding predicted and actual building operational energy”.

Currently, operators of commercial and public sector buildings have two indicators of a buildings energy performance available to them. The first is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating which is a theoretical assessment of a buildings energy needs in optimum conditions. The second is a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) which is based on actual energy consumption. The DEC is almost always higher due to occupant behaviour, non-standard hours of operation, and unregulated loads such as IT and office equipment.

In the report, author Andy Lewry explains how the UK Government’s Green Deal Assessment tool – GD-SBEM – can be used to reconcile the differences between the two sets of information. ‘By inputting both theoretical and actual consumption data, GD-SBEM can help building operators really understand the energy use in a building, highlighting where improvements can be made and the costs and related payback periods of investment. The tool can also help larger organisations report against the requirements of the UK government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

Accompanying the report is a sister publication: Producing the business case for investment in energy efficiency (IP2/15). This offers practical guidance to building operators on how to make a sound financial case for investing in energy efficiency improvements that will bridge the energy performance gap.

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