It has often been said that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Data from the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) have important direct and indirect impacts on the building industry and U.S. economy. CBECS is a nationally representative survey of commercial building energy consumption and expenditures, and their energy-related characteristics in the United States.
The Survey is conducted about once every four years. “Commercial buildings” in the CBECS context include all buildings in which at least half of the floor space is used for a purpose that is not residential, industrial or agricultural, so they include building types that might not traditionally be considered “commercial,” such as schools, correctional institutions and buildings used for religious worship.
CBECS data are used by ASHRAE standards, and the Society’s Building Energy Quotient building labeling program. Without the current, comprehensive picture of building energy consumption in the United States that CBECS provides it would be harder to identify opportunities to increase efficiency and to assess progress towards energy efficiency goals.
Work on the 2011 CBECS was suspended due to a lack of priority in fiscal year 2011 for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which oversees the Survey. The last edition of the Survey is from 2003, and if the 2011 Survey is not conducted, consulting engineers, manufacturers, building owners and operators, utilities, research and educational institutions, policymakers and others will be forced to rely on data that is nearly a decade old to help make their building energy efficiency-related decisions.
ASHRAE leadership strongly believes that having the up-to-date information on U.S. building energy consumption that the 2011 CBECS would provide is important. If you agree, we are asking you to please contact your U.S. Senators to ask them to support resumption of work on the 2011 CBECS.
After sending letters to your Senators, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, letting ASHRAE know that you have sent these letters. This will help ASHRAE leadership gauge member participation and whether the Society should send future requests for member participation.
Thank you in advance for your time and efforts to support building efficiency.