CBECS (the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey) was suspended last May due to federal budget cuts, but now it seems the survey will go on.
Many tools--most notably the popular Energy Star Portfolio Manager--use CBECS data. The benchmarking is only as good as the data backing it, so it comes as a relief to many that CBECS will resume.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has announced that the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) will continue, thanks to renewed federal funding.
As we reported when funding issues first came to light in May 2011, CBECS, which is like a U.S. Census for building performance, provides a vital dataset that powers Energy Star Portfolio Manager and is used to support benchmarking in the LEED rating systems, the 2030 Challenge, and energy modeling tools. The most recently available data at this time is from 2003.
Now, according to EIA, the next survey will begin in April 2013 using 2012 as its reference year, and results will be available in the first half of 2014.
While large datasets of building performance are becoming more common, the massive size and scope of CBECS is unlikely to be replicated by the private sector. For a great introduction to varieties of energy measurement in buildings--and how well they really work--check out our feature article (accessible to BuildingGreen members), "Measuring Energy Use in Buildings: Do Our Metrics Really Add Up?"