One of the weapons in your facility management energy tool kit should be the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineer’s (ASHRAE) Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program. By staying up to date, you will be better equipped to maintain control over your building’s energy costs, the largest but most controllable operating expenses.
Introduced by ASHRAE three years ago, after completing an assessment that includes a level 1 energy audit, the bEQ program assigns buildings an energy use quotient. The goal of the assessment: generating data that help a facilities manager take action quickly to improve a building’s energy performance, partly by comparing its energy usage to similar structures and their locations.
Other advantages of the bEQ program, according to ASHRAE:
- Control rising energy costs, thus maintaining satisfied clients and tenants.
- Energy efficiency management is a crucial part of a building’s financial and operation performance.
- Receive an “In Operation” rating so long as the building has collected energy use data for at least 12 consecutive months.
Although the bEQ program is voluntary, similar programs that require transparency in building energy usage disclosures are required in California and Washington and a handful of U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Austin.
Facility management experts say, the bEQ program appears to mirror the Department of Energy’s Energy Star program with one variation: requiring the level 1 energy audit conducted by a certified professional.
More recently, the bEQ program has added an “As Designed” label that evaluates a building’s potential energy use based on standardized conditions instead of a baseline median energy use intensity (EUI) metric.
The biggest difference between the “In Operation” and “As Designed” labels: a requirement for this newer label in collecting actual data from operating for up to 18 months.
Another interesting fact about the bEQ rating is that it never expires. However, because the operation and systems in buildings change and age with time, ratings will become inaccurate as years pass, which is why ASHRAE recommends reapplying for a new rating every 36 months.
For more information about ASHRAE’s bEQ program and how it can help your building’s ongoing energy efficiency, contact Vanguard Resources.