What is Building Energy Modeling?
Building Energy Modeling (BEM) is software simulation of building energy use. The simulation combines building specifications,control strategies, occupancy, local weather, and other considerations to develop a full year of energy usage calculations. BEM is used in architectural design, HVAC design and operation, building performance rating, building stock analysis, compliance with building energy codes, and much more. Many software packages can support building energy modeling. A popular tool is the U.S Department of Energy’s EnergyPlus™. EnergyPlus is an open-source whole-building energy modeling engine developed by a team of researchers, engineers, and programmers at U.S. national labs, universities, and private companies.
Compliance software is used by architects, engineers, and energy consultants to demonstrate compliance with mandatory and voluntary energy codes. Computer programs used for compliance with Title 24, Part 6 must be approved by the California Energy Commission and can be found here. The tables below contain the approved computer programs included in the Alternative Calculations Methods for California’s Energy Code.
California’s Energy Code Compliance Software
Compliance software is used by the building engineering and construction industry to demonstrate compliance with mandatory and voluntary energy codes. Software used for compliance with Title 24, Part 6 must be approved by the California Energy Commission. A list of approved options are available on the Energy Commission’s website.
Support for Energy Modeling Advancements
The Statewide Codes & Standards Utility Program supports the advancement of building energy modeling simulation tools. Utility support for the advancement of energy modeling tools includes research into implementing new technologies as well as advocating for software refinements to increase usability and effectiveness. This is accomplished through activities such as laboratory testing to collect data to support robust models as well as technical analysis to inform software adjustments.
These activities primarily support increased compliance with California’s Energy Code through suggestions to update the Alternative Calculations Methods (ACM) documentation at the close of a rulemaking, and technical memorandum submitted to the Energy Commission for consideration as optional compliance features are added to CBECC-Res and CBECC-Com through re-releases.
The Statewide Codes & Standards Utility Program also participates in the national conversation surrounding energy modeling tools and resources. Supporting the evolution of Department of Energy supported modeling resources benefits the global energy modeling community, including California.
The program supports the Energy Commission in updating the compliance software as needs are identified by the energy modeling community that uses them, or by Energy Commission request.
Software Symposiums and Other Events
Throughout the year, the Statewide Codes & Standards Utility Program hosts or participtes in events to understand the needs of the energy modeling community and determine where to invest resources that will have the most efficacious result. Symposia, conferences and online meetings offer an opportunity to share insights.
Get Email Updates
The Statewide CASE Team periodically distributes email notifications that advertise upcoming meetings, provide materials from past meetings, and update stakeholders on the progression of the Energy Commission’s rulemaking process. You can choose to receive measure-specific and/or general updates on these topics depending on your needs.