Energy Labeling Showdown
British Columbia’s existing buildings account for two-thirds of all energy consumed in the province and 41% of the province’s total GHG emissions. On a small scale, building energy labeling systems are effective tools in helping owner / operators monitor and reduce their energy consumption and GHG emissions. On a larger scale, they are one of many tools that government can employ to tackle climate change and energy demand.
Recognizing those important roles, this study evaluates the two most common building energy labeling tools: Energy Star and ASHRAE bEQ.
In preparing this study, Light House worked in cooperation with Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, and modelled Vancity’s head office in Vancouver, BC using both systems. Through the study, Light House determined the differences in requirements for each program, the administrative concerns, and the energy labeling policy context, implications and opportunities.
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Some key findings:
- Energy Star ratings are more influenced than bEQ score by variables such as: computers, occupants, hours of operation and parking lot size.
- Insufficient supply of bEQ professionals; none within short distance. Nearest professional was located in Portland, OR. Energy Star only requires a P.Eng. or Licensed Architect to complete the audit.
- bEQ energy requirements exceeded Energy Star: A Level One ASHRAE Energy Audit and Energy Use Breakdown are required for bEQ.
- No Canadian policies for mandatory reporting or disclosure of energy usage at this time. The Yukon Territory and City of Vancouver aim to implement programs in the near future.
For more information about our energy labeling/auditing service, please contact Luke Smeaton, Director of Green Building and Energy Services at 604-677-3126 Ext. 303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.