[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 26 (Thursday, February 7, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9042-9044]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-02753]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


Request for Information (RFI) for Commercial Building Energy 
Asset Score

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy.

[[Page 9043]]


ACTION: Notice for Request for Information.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a 
preliminary commercial building energy asset score (hereinafter 
``score''). The score provides information regarding the efficiency of 
a building's major energy consuming systems and is intended to enable 
greater understanding of building performance and potential savings. 
DOE is developing this voluntary program as part of its effort to 
achieve a 20 percent improvement in the energy efficiency of commercial 
buildings by 2020.

DATES: Comments may be submitted on or before March 11, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments via email to asset.score@ee.doe.gov or send 
mail to: Joan Glickman, Attn: Commercial Building Asset Score RFI, EE-
2J, 1000 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20585.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joan Glickman, asset.score@ee.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The methodology used to score buildings and 
generate other relevant information is described in detail in the 
document entitled ``Commercial Building Energy Asset Score: Program 
Overview and Technical Protocol Version 1.0'' (hereinafter ``the 
Protocol''). This request for information (RFI) seeks input on the 
following three components of the Protocol:
    1. Data collection and validation;
    2. The asset score report; and
    3. Score durability.
    This RFI provides an overview of the three program components. 
Additional detail on each of the three topics is provided in the 
Protocol. Stakeholders are encouraged to download the Protocol, which 
is available at the following link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/commercial_initiative/pdfs/energy_asset_score_technical_protocol_phase1.pdf
    This is the second RFI that DOE has issued related to the score. On 
August 8, 2011, DOE issued an RFI seeking input to inform overall 
development of the voluntary program. In addition, DOE conducted market 
research and outreach to better understand the perspective of industry 
and other interested groups. These efforts, along with initial pilot 
testing of the score with commercial building owners and operators in 
2012, informed the development of the current score. More information 
on the asset score development process can be found at this site: 
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/commercial/assetscore.html.
    DOE plans to continue to work with commercial building owners and 
operators to pilot test the score in 2013, including application of the 
score to additional building types. During this testing period, DOE 
will continue to refine the program as well as conduct additional 
analysis to inform future program development. Future development of 
the program will continue to be guided by previously established 
principles, as described in Section 2.2 of the Protocol. In brief, the 
system must produce credible scores and useful information at an 
affordable cost.

1. Data Collection and Validation

    To obtain an energy asset score using the tool, building owners 
must input at least the minimum required set of information about a 
building. This ``simple-level'' use of the tool requires filling in 
approximately 20-30 data fields. Based on this information, the tool 
produces a preliminary report not intended to be used for official 
purposes such as public display or a real estate transaction. DOE 
recommends that building owners who want to display a report publicly 
or use the score for transactional purposes obtain an advanced report, 
which requires completion of approximately 60-80 fields of data and 
will likely also require that the data is validated and submitted by a 
person qualified to collect this information. When a user leaves a non-
required data entry field blank, the tool uses a default value (an 
estimate based on the building type, location, and age) to complete the 
energy model.
    A preliminary data input list for the simple and the advanced use 
levels can be found in Appendix C of the Protocol. DOE is collecting 
feedback on the data collection process through pilot testing. The full 
list will not be finalized until after a pilot period, during which 
users can respond to the usefulness of the results and the difficulty 
of data collection. The total time required for the simple-level score 
is estimated to be 6-8 hours; the total time required for the advanced-
level data collection is estimated to be less than 20 hours. The 
simple-level time estimate was tested during the first pilot project in 
2012 and will be further tested during the second pilot project in 
2013. DOE invites comments from respondents on the preliminary data 
classification, data collection time, and method that can be used to 
maintain a balance between reasonable cost of data collection and 
acceptable accuracy of results.
    In addition to seeking input on data required for the simple and 
advanced scores, DOE also invites input on methods that can be used to 
validate scores in cases where a score is being used for official 
purposes (e.g., marketing to lessees, real estate sales). 
Considerations might include assessor qualification requirements, 
methods for verifying or testing assessor qualifications, as well as 
quality assurance requirements and implementation options.

2. Energy Asset Score Report

    The energy asset scoring tool produces a report that includes four 
sections: A whole-building score, a system evaluation, identified 
opportunities for improvement, and a description of building assets. 
The primary modeling output of the energy asset scoring tool is the 
energy use intensity (EUI), which is used to generate the energy asset 
score. No baseline buildings are needed because the calculated EUI is 
placed on a fixed scale. Two sets of scores and associated modeled EUIs 
are presented on the same energy asset score scale: Current score and 
potential score.
    System evaluations are provided for building components, including 
envelope (roof, wall, window), lighting, heating, cooling, and service 
hot water systems. This information can help users identify parts of 
the building in need of attention. Two buildings with the same energy 
asset score may have different system evaluations. These evaluations 
can give users insight into their building's strengths and weaknesses. 
Based on the entered building information, the energy asset scoring 
tool also identifies potential improvement opportunities in each system 
evaluated.
    Section 5 of the Protocol provides detailed descriptions of the 
score calculations, system evaluations methods, and the generation of a 
cost-effective upgrade package. DOE welcomes comments on critical 
information to be included in the energy asset score report and the 
methodology used to evaluate systems and generate recommendations.

3. Durability of Energy Asset Score

    DOE expects that a building's score will remain current for at 
least 10 years, as long as the building does not undergo significant 
infrastructure changes including replacement of asset-related energy 
systems. If DOE makes any significant changes to the scoring 
methodology or tool, users will be notified and can receive an updated 
energy asset score report based on the latest version of the scoring 
tool.
    After establishing 100-point scales for all relevant building 
types, DOE expects

[[Page 9044]]

that the scales can remain static for at least 10 years. The overall 
efficiency of the U.S. building stock is not expected to change 
dramatically enough to warrant scale revisions within 10 years.
    Although building equipment will degrade over time, equipment 
performance is affected by multiple factors, most of which are related 
to operation and maintenance. Given this combination of influences, 
equipment degradation is not accounted for in the score and will not 
affect the durability of the score.
    DOE will incorporate new software releases of EnergyPlus as they 
are developed. However, DOE expects that most new features that extend 
modeling capability or increase simulation speed will have little 
effect on the energy asset score. If a software update of EnergyPlus or 
other updates to the scoring tool result in a change of the modeling 
results, prior users of the tool will receive an updated score report.
    More information about the score durability is described in Section 
3.2.4 of the Protocol. DOE welcomes stakeholder comments on the 
durability of the energy asset score scale and the period for which a 
building should be able to maintain its score.

Submitting Comments to DOE

    DOE invites comments on all elements discussed above, as well as 
additional issues that respondents deem important. Specifically, DOE 
requests comments on (1) Data classification for the simple and 
advanced levels of tool use as well as score validation methods; (2) 
critical information to be included in the energy asset score report; 
and (3) durability of the energy asset scores.
    Comments may be submitted in writing via direct mail or email 
within on or before March 11, 2013. Please limit comments to no more 
than 3 pages per program area, not to exceed a total of 8 pages.

Disclaimer and Important Notes

    This is an RFI issued solely for information and program planning 
purposes; this RFI does not constitute a formal solicitation for 
proposals or abstracts. Your response to this notice will be treated as 
information only. DOE will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred 
in responding to this RFI. Respondents are advised that DOE is under no 
obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or 
provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information 
submitted under this RFI. Responses to this RFI do not bind DOE to any 
further actions related to this topic.

Confidential Business Information

    According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information he 
or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public 
disclosure should submit via email, postal mail, or hand delivery/
courier two well-marked copies: One copy of the document marked 
confidential including all the information believed to be confidential, 
and one copy of the document marked non-confidential with the 
information believed to be confidential deleted. Submit these documents 
via email or on a CD, if feasible. DOE will make its own determination 
about the confidential status of the information and treat it according 
to its determination.
    Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat 
submitted information as confidential include: (1) A description of the 
items; (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as 
confidential within the industry; (3) whether the information is 
generally known by or available from other sources; (4) whether the 
information has previously been made available to others without 
obligation concerning its confidentiality; (5) an explanation of the 
competitive injury to the submitting person which would result from 
public disclosure; (6) when such information might lose its 
confidential character due to the passage of time; and (7) why 
disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest.
    It is DOE's policy that all comments may be included in the public 
docket, without change and as received, including any personal 
information provided in the comments (except information deemed to be 
exempt from public disclosure).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2013.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2013-02753 Filed 2-6-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P