Better Buildings Alliance Gas Heater Specification

The Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) has released a specification for commercial gas heaters that outlines energy-related product requirements. Purchasers can utilize the specification today to ensure they are procuring a high-efficiency, high-quality product from manufacturers.

Gas heaters built to the BBA specification can reduce energy use by over 10%, compared to typical space heating equipment, and if widely adopted could save U.S. businesses 34.7 TBtu of energy, or about $300 million in energy costs, per year*. The BBA specification is unique in that it provides different high-efficiency gas heating options to best meet each building's needs, including: unit heaters, direct-fired heaters, and infrared heaters.

If you are interested in saving energy and saving on your business's utility bills consider using this specification when procuring new space heating equipment.

* Assumes the replacement of a gas unit heater with an 80% thermal efficiency with a 90% efficient heater operating for 1,500 hours per year at 260,000 Btu/hr with a utility cost of $8.68/MBtu. Actual operating hours can vary significantly with heater location within the building, heater size, operating characteristics, etc. Please consult the Energy Savings Calculator to determine the financial savings for your building.

How to Use the Specification

STEP 1: Answer the following set of questions to determine if a high efficiency gas heater is right for your building. If you answer "yes" to the first two questions and at least one other question, replacing your old gas heater is likely to be a value-generating option for your building.

  1. Does your facility use non-centralized space heating equipment?
  2. Do you own your facilities or are responsible for the heating system within?
  3. Are you constructing a new facility or performing major renovations that involve changes to the floorplan or how people and items enter or exit the facility?
  4. Is your current gas heater more than 10 years old?
  5. Do you frequently have loading docks, sliding doors, storage areas, etc., open to outdoor conditions?
  6. Are your local natural gas costs high, or are you concerned they will rise in the near future?
  7. Are you seeking an ENERGY STAR® label or a green building certification?

STEP 2: Find financial incentives you may qualify for on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website. Then calculate the financial savings you could achieve by switching to a high efficiency gas heater.

STEP 3: Download the BBA gas heater specification template, and develop a customized specification to reflect your specific site's needs.

STEP 4: Send your customized specification to one or more manufacturers to get quotes.

STEP 5: Purchase and install a high efficiency gas heater and start saving money and energy!

Additional Information

Below are links to additional resources as well as case studies demonstrating building energy savings and annual operating cost savings from buildings using highly efficient gas heaters.

For any questions on this, or other, BBA specifications please contact BBA@ee.doe.gov.