Proposed ASHRAE standard for energy audits open for public comment

by Brianna Crandall — August 31, 2016 — A proposed joint standard from global building technology society ASHRAE and indoor environment and energy efficiency association ACCA establishes consistent practices for conducting and reporting energy audits is open for a 45-day American National Standards Institute (ANSI) public review.

ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 211P, Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits, defines the procedures required to perform ASHRAE Level 1, 2 and 3 Energy Audits and provide a common scope of work for these audit levels for use by building owners and others as well as establish standardized industry practices and minimum reporting requirements for the results.

An initial Advisory Public Review (non-ANSI) of the standard that closed in December 2015 resulted in more than 600 comments from some 100 people. Changes made as a result of that review include:

  • Expansion of scope to include multifamily residential buildings
  • Modification of requirements for energy auditor qualifications
  • Addition of specific guidance around the energy audit quality control process
  • Improvement of reporting forms for usability
  • Review of reporting formats for compatibility with BuildingSync, the DOE protocol for transmitting energy audit data with XML files
  • Addition of optional input guidance for compatibility with the DOE’s Asset Score rating approach for existing building assessments
  • Updated procedures guidance to be more audit customer-oriented and include measures for reasons beyond energy-savings benefits
  • Refined guidance around Level 3 procedures
  • Clarified actions for energy auditor vs. what may be supervised
  • Removal of energy efficiency measure recommendations appendix (these are found in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 100-2006, Energy Conservation in Existing Buildings)
  • Addition of guidance for Building Energy Model Calibration
  • Edits based on reviewer comments to make the standard more usable, clear and effective

ASHRAE first addressed audits in 2004 with its publication Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits (1st Ed), which introduced the concept of ASHRAE Level 1, 2 and 3 Energy Audits as a shorthand for designating the depth of an energy audit. That concept is now commonly used in the commercial building sector. In 2011, a second edition, which added guidelines for best practices in energy audits, was published.

ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 211P, Standard for Commercial Building Energy Audits, is open for public comment until September 19, 2016. To comment or learn more, visit the ASHRAE Public Review Draft Standards Web page.