Savings of 18.5% for Buildings that Meet 2010 Energy Standard: DOE

November 30, 2011

Photo of a large, horseshoe shaped, office building.

NREL's Research Support Facility, which was among the top green buildings in 2011, showcases higher efficiency strategies.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder, NREL

DOE announced on November 21 that its analysis shows buildings meeting a 2010 energy efficiency standard will use 18.5% less energy than structures using the previous (2007) standard. The latest version of Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, will save commercial building owners energy and money, according to DOE's analysis. It will also help them meet their sustainability goals and reduce carbon pollution. When DOE issues a final determination, states are expected to review the new code provisions and update their building code to meet or exceed the energy efficiency of the new standard within two years. Certification statements by the states are due October 18, 2013.

The DOE noted that the newer version of the standard contains 19 positive impacts on energy efficiency, including some changes resulting from public comments. Among the modifications are new requirements for daylighting controls under skylights and commissioning of daylighting controls; increased use of heat recovery; cool roofs in hot climates; skylights and daylighting in some building types; reduced ventilation energy; supply air temperature reset for non-peak conditions; efficiency requirements for data centers; lower lighting power densities; control of exterior lighting; and occupancy sensors for many specific applications.

DOE analyzed the energy codes published by the American National Standards Institute/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America to determine the potential for energy efficiency improvements in buildings that adhere to the code. For its findings, DOE simulated 16 representative building types in 15 U.S. climate locations. The standard covers a wide spectrum of the energy-related components and systems in buildings ranging from simple storage units to complex hospitals and laboratories. Structures also ranged from those smaller than single-family homes to the largest buildings in the world. See the DOE Progress Alert, the final determination regarding Standard 90.1PDF, the Building Energy Codes Program website, and the ASHRAE press release.