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Title: Data-Driven Benchmarking of Building Energy Efficiency Utilizing Statistical Frontier Models

Frontier methods quantify the energy efficiency of buildings by forming an efficient frontier (best-practice technology) and by comparing all buildings against that frontier. Because energy consumption fluctuates over time, the efficiency scores are stochastic random variables. Existing applications of frontier methods in energy efficiency either treat efficiency scores as deterministic values or estimate their uncertainty by resampling from one set of measurements. Availability of smart meter data (repeated measurements of energy consumption of buildings) enables using actual data to estimate the uncertainty in efficiency scores. Additionally, existing applications assume a linear form for an efficient frontier; i.e.,they assume that the best-practice technology scales up and down proportionally with building characteristics. However, previous research shows that buildings are nonlinear systems. This paper proposes a statistical method called stochastic energy efficiency frontier (SEEF) to estimate a bias-corrected efficiency score and its confidence intervals from measured data. The paper proposes an algorithm to specify the functional form of the frontier, identify the probability distribution of the efficiency score of each building using measured data, and rank buildings based on their energy efficiency. To illustrate the power of SEEF, this paper presents the results from applying SEEF on a smart meter data set ofmore » 307 residential buildings in the United States. SEEF efficiency scores are used to rank individual buildings based on energy efficiency, to compare subpopulations of buildings, and to identify irregular behavior of buildings across different time-of-use periods. SEEF is an improvement to the energy-intensity method (comparing kWh/sq.ft.): whereas SEEF identifies efficient buildings across the entire spectrum of building sizes, the energy-intensity method showed bias toward smaller buildings. The results of this research are expected to assist researchers and practitioners compare and rank (i.e.,benchmark) buildings more robustly and over a wider range of building types and sizes. Eventually, doing so is expected to result in improved resource allocation in energy-efficiency programs.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: JOURNAL OF COMPUTING IN CIVIL ENGINEERING; Journal Volume: 28; Journal Issue: 1
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States