The Green Living Guy

Portland, Ore., January 30, 2012- A third-party research study recently announced that Earth Advantage Institute’s EPS Auditor™ energy modeling software ranked first overall for its accuracy and consistency at estimating “asset-based” energy performance metrics for existing homes in the Pacific Northwest. An asset-based rating for homes is comparable to a “miles-per-gallon” rating for vehicles, because both ratings assess performance independent of occupant behavior. Other details of the study are:

• The final results were: first place, Earth Advantage; second place, EnergyMeasure Home; third place, EnergySavvy.

• The energy modeling software tested included Earth Advantage’s EPS Auditor, based on Michael Blasnik’s SIMPLE algorithm; EnergyMeasure Home (EMH), developed by Conservation Services Group (CSG); Energy Savvy; Recurve; and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Scoring Tool (HEST).

• The study used the SEEM modeling software as the control, since it is the generally accepted modeling tool for the region’s utilities and policymakers. SEEM is a much more rigorous tool and the idea to simplify it for use as an asset rating tool was quickly dismissed from consideration.

• The study involved modeling ‘prototype’ homes in which the inputs were roughly based on regional averages, and modeling ‘test’ homes with data gathered from actual inputs collected in the field.

• The study tested software with four different heating systems: zonal electric heat, electric furnace, gas furnace, and heat pump.

• The study tested homes in three different climate zones.

• Testing showed significant inaccuracies with both the Recurve and the HEST software. These products were removed from final considerations.

“Overall, we were very pleased with the results of this comprehensive study,” said Earth Advantage Institute’s Executive Director, Sean Penrith. “We believe that energy labeling will influence homeowners’ purchases moving forward and it is vital that these labels reflect energy information as precisely as possible.”

Earth Advantage Institute’s EPS Auditor software is currently being used by energy programs in Washington, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Alabama. Independent energy auditors are also using the software in New Mexico, Maryland and Illinois. “Our pilots have been instrumental in understanding how various market segments can use this tool,” says Energy Performance Score Program Manager, David Heslam. “In addition to the results of this study, our energy modeling software can be adapted for multiple users ranging from home performance contractors to energy program managers on a state or national level.”

Source: Earth Advantage Institute

Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource, works with the building and design industry to help implement sustainable building practices.

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