Building Energy Model Development for Retrofit Homes

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Based on previous research conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Florida Solar Energy Center providing technical assistance to implement 22 deep energy retrofits across the nation, 6 homes were selected in Florida and Texas for detailed post-retrofit energy modeling to assess realized energy savings (Chandra et al, 2012). However, assessing realized savings can be difficult for some homes where pre-retrofit occupancy and energy performance are unknown. Initially, savings had been estimated using a HERS Index comparison for these homes. However, this does not account for confounding factors such as occupancy and weather. This research addresses a method to more ... continued below

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Chasar, David; McIlvaine, Janet; Blanchard, Jeremy; Widder, Sarah H. & Baechler, Michael C. September 30, 2012.

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Based on previous research conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Florida Solar Energy Center providing technical assistance to implement 22 deep energy retrofits across the nation, 6 homes were selected in Florida and Texas for detailed post-retrofit energy modeling to assess realized energy savings (Chandra et al, 2012). However, assessing realized savings can be difficult for some homes where pre-retrofit occupancy and energy performance are unknown. Initially, savings had been estimated using a HERS Index comparison for these homes. However, this does not account for confounding factors such as occupancy and weather. This research addresses a method to more reliably assess energy savings achieved in deep energy retrofits for which pre-retrofit utility bills or occupancy information in not available. A metered home, Riverdale, was selected as a test case for development of a modeling procedure to account occupancy and weather factors, potentially creating more accurate estimates of energy savings. This “true up” procedure was developed using Energy Gauge USA software and post-retrofit homeowner information and utility bills. The 12 step process adjusts the post-retrofit modeling results to correlate with post-retrofit utility bills and known occupancy information. The “trued” post retrofit model is then used to estimate pre-retrofit energy consumption by changing the building efficiency characteristics to reflect the pre-retrofit condition, but keeping all weather and occupancy-related factors the same. This creates a pre-retrofit model that is more comparable to the post-retrofit energy use profile and can improve energy savings estimates. For this test case, a home for which pre- and post- retrofit utility bills were available was selected for comparison and assessment of the accuracy of the “true up” procedure. Based on the current method, this procedure is quite time intensive. However, streamlined processing spreadsheets or incorporation into existing software tools would improve the efficiency of the process. Retrofit activity appears to be gaining market share, and this would be a potentially valuable capability with relevance to marketing, program management, and retrofit success metrics.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-21858
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1060666 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1060666
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc837381

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 30, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 9:45 p.m.

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Chasar, David; McIlvaine, Janet; Blanchard, Jeremy; Widder, Sarah H. & Baechler, Michael C. Building Energy Model Development for Retrofit Homes, report, September 30, 2012; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc837381/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.