After more than three years in the making I have finally published my book, Building ENERGY STAR scores — good idea, bad science. This book is a critical analysis of the science that underpins the EPA’s building ENERGY STAR benchmarking score. The book can be purchased through Amazon.com. It is also available as a free download at this web site.
I first began looking closely at the science behind ENERGY STAR scores in late 2012. The issue had arisen in connection with my investigation of energy performance of LEED-certified office buildings in New York City using 2011 energy benchmarking data published by the Mayor’s office. My study, published in Energy & Buildings, concluded that large (over 50,000 sf) LEED-certified office buildings in NYC used the same amount of energy as did conventional office buildings — no more, no less. But the LEED-certified office buildings, on average, had ENERGY STAR scores about 10 points higher than did the conventional buildings. This puzzled me.
So I dug into the technical methodology employed by the EPA for calculating these ENERGY STAR scores. I began by looking at the score for Office buildings. Soon thereafter I investigated Senior Care Facilities. Over the next three years I would dig into the details of ENERGY STAR models for 13 different kinds of buildings. Some preliminary findings were published in the 2014 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. A year later I would present a second paper on this topic at the 2015 International Energy Program Evaluation Conference (IEPEC) Both of these papers were very limited in scope and simply did not allow the space necessary to include the detailed analysis. So I decided to write a book that contained a separate chapter devoted to each of the 13-types of buildings. In time the book grew to 18 chapters and an appendix.
This book is not for the general audience — it is highly technical. In the future I plan to write various essays for a more general audience that do not contain the technical details. Those interested can turn to this book for the details.
As mentioned above the printed copy of the book is available through Amazon.com. Anyone interested in an electronic copy should send me a request via email with their contact information. Alternately an electronic copy may be downloaded from this web site.
Incidently, the book is priced as low as possible — I do not receive 1 cent of royalty. The cost is driven by the choice of large paper and color printing — it was just going to be too much work to re-do all the graphs so that they were discernable in black and white!