The draft ASTM E2797-2011 BEPA (Building Energy Performance Assessment) Standard will provide another method to assess and disclose the energy efficiency of commercial buildings. The standard is expected to be published in 2011, though no date has been specified.
BEPA was created in an effort to standardize the process of assessing the energy efficiency of a building for the purposes of pre-transaction disclosure. Building purchasers will want to know the building’s energy consumption, and lenders will want to understand the building’s operating costs.
BEPAs were designed to be conducted in concurrence with a Phase I ESA or PCA; however, BEPA buyers need to be aware that the personnel used for the site inspection during a Phase I or PCA may not be trained appropriately to conduct the BEPA. The inspector for BEPA should be a mechanical or other engineer, Certified Energy Manager (CEM), LEED AP or other professional with training in building and energy systems.
More states are requiring energy efficiency disclosure of commercial buildings. As this trend continues, more building owners, purchasers and commercial real estate professionals are recognizing the value of energy assessments not just because of these regulatory requirements, but because energy efficiency initiatives really work. In addition to greater marketability of a building, capital investments into energy efficient system upgrades will yield substantial return on investment.
According to Tony Liou, President of Partner Energy, the EPA’s Energy Star program is currently the most commonly used energy disclosure and benchmarking tool; however, Partner Energy structures each assessment according to the client’s specifications and the most appropriate method, whether the Energy Star program, ASHRAE audits, or the upcoming BEPA standard.
Partner Energy specializes in an array of energy services including audits, modeling and benchmarking.