Posts Tagged ‘BEQ’

Many Acronyms Make Fast Work of Energy Efficiency

April 22nd, 2010 by Jim Crowder

Earlier this week, everyone was tweeting about the fourth annual Energy Efficiency Indicator released Monday by Johnson Controls in association with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and the American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), which garnered intelligent coverage by Fast Company, greentechenterprise, and Kansas City Business Journal, among others. This survey inventories the investment plans and priorities of 1,400 North American executives and managers the decisionmakers behind commercial buildings.

The big news?

  • 52% said they are planning to make capital investments in energy efficiency, up from 46% last year.
  • 60% are planning to make operating budget expenditures in efficiency programs over the next twelve months.
  • 38% said that the largest barrier to making energy efficiency investments is limited capital availability.
  • 97% of respondents identified energy cost savings as the most significant factor influencing energy efficiency decisions.

“Cheap and easy solutions clearly win out,” Fast Company commented of the surveyed breakdown on intended efficiency solution methods, of which upgraded building controls account for 33%. But here’s the deal: BuildingAdvice offers low- and no-cost efficiency solutions, which are not only easy but better than cheap. And unlike other dashboard / management offerings we’re starting to see crop up all over, BuildingAdvice actually identifies specific problem areas in your building, then recommends improvements and estimates the financial value of those improvements.

But enough about us. Sustainable Business Oregon has posted a great column from Sean Penrith of the Earth Advantage Institute (did you see BuildingAdvice’s column, “Investment vs. Immediacy,” by Kevin Skurski last week?). :)

Earth Advantage Institute and Energy Trust of Oregon have teamed up to create a rating called the Energy Performance Score, or EPS, “a kind of miles-per-gallon sticker for your home,” Penrith says. You might not necessarily post this score inside your living room window, a la restaurants in Los Angeles (image courtesy, but then again, you might.

On the commercial building side, companies like BuildingAdvice will be paying attention to the Building Energy Quotient (BEQ), a new designation formulated by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The BEQ measures energy consumption before and after occupancy with “as designed” and “in operation” scores.

“However, the EPS and BEQ are not designed to be mandates, but a market mechanism that can create opportunity for the private sector,” writes Penrith in Sustainable Business Oregon.

So BEQ is one more way to make your building profitable, marketable, and sustainable. If the value of the EPS is integrated into the mortgage, retrofit loan, appraisal and homeowner insurance, what could a BEQ mean for commercial building value? Going back to the Johnson Controls report, 63% of those 1,400 building decisionmakers surveyed think that increasing energy efficiency will lead to an improved public image.