Residential Energy Efficiency: A Model Methodology for Determining Performance Outcomes

  • June 14, 2010
  • • Written by: Pierce Jones, Ph.D. Ujjval K. Vyas, Ph.D., J.D. Nicholas Taylor, M.S. M. Jennison Kipp, M.S. 

Summer 2010, Vol. 35, No. 2

Abstract: The current climate of opinion in both the residential and commercial sectors for new and existing building stock gives a prominent role to energy efficiency as a policy tool. Executive and legislative branches of government at both the state and federal levels are considering and adopting policy options to valorize energy efficiency in the service of everything from national security to curbing global warming to creating a green economy. While the authors support this activity, it should be noted that actual evidence regarding the benefits or outcomes of most funding initiatives or policy activity in this area remains difficult to assess meaningfully. In this article, the authors stress the need for validation of post-occupancy performance and demonstration of persistence of energy efficiency benefits attributable to energy efficiency initiatives and policy activities, and suggest a methodology to assess actual performance using a well-known green building rating system for homes.