Occupied Homes Software Task Force

There are two primarily needs for software verification tools for occupied homes:

  • "Institutional Purposes" (e.g. Energy Improvement Mortgages, Time-of-Sale Labeling. Energy Efficiency Certificates, Carbon Offsets) - This uses modeled performance, and is not driven by consumer behavior. This is often referred to as an "Asset Rating". This is the current RESNET rating method.
  • "Informative" to guide homeowners in making decisions regarding making energy improvements to a home. This needs to account for consumer behavior, and often called an "Operational Rating".

RESNET had convened a task force to review the issues associated with rating software programs for existing homes. For a listing of task force members click on RESNET Occupied Homes Software Task Force Members. The task force will work on the following plan of action:

  • The first effort will focus on developing the specifications for the operational rating. This would include:
    • Provide input and tracking progress on the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory effort to develop a BESTTEST-EX for reconciling weather and utility bills, and,if necessary develop an interim process with specific attention to:
      • Weather normalization methods
      • Acceptable user characteristics for modification
    • Determine the set of tests to verify consistency for software programs producing an operational rating
    • Create software standards and tests for software that meets the standard for operational ratings
    • Define acceptable range criteria for the software verification
    • Establish a process for accrediting software programs that comply with the new RESNET operational rating standard
  • Develop recommendations on how RESNET would treat the rating report that would be presented to the consumer if RESNET would include both the operational and asset rating.
  • Investigate simplification of the current asset rating method (asset rating) for existing homes
  • Until a national carbon tool is developed, develop an interim RESNET standard for calculating the carbon emissions of homes
  • Define how RESNET will gather the data from operational ratings to improve the asset rating modeling

In July 2009 the task force adopted the "Process Steps for Modeling Proposed Improvements to Occupied Buildings for which Historical Energy Use Data Exists" that spells out the steps a modeling program should address in modeling for occupied buildings. To draft a set of guidelines to implement the process steps a Occupied Homes Software Working Group was recruited. The members of the working group are:

  • Michael Blasnik representing Conservation Services Group
  • Philip Fairey, Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Tom Fitzpatrick, Texas Home Energy Raters Association
  • Dave Roberts, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Rob Salcido, Architectural Energy Corporation
  • Greg Thomas, Performance Development Systems

The working group will track and complement the efforts of the U.S. Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory efforts to develop BESTEST-EX.

Supporting Information