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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comparison of building energy use data between the United States and China


Buildings in the United States and China consumed 41percent and 28percent of the total primary energy in 2011, respectively. Good energy data are the cornerstone to understanding building energy performance and supporting research, design, operation, and policy making for low energy buildings. This paper presents initial outcomes from a joint research project under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy Efficiency. The goal is to decode the driving forces behind the discrepancy of building energy use between the two countries; identify gaps and deficiencies of current building energy monitoring, data collection, and analysis; and create knowledge and tools to collect and analyze good building energy data to provide valuable and actionable information for key stakeholders. This paper first reviews and compares several popular existing building energy monitoring systems in both countries. Next a standard energy data model is presented. A detailed, measured building energy data comparison was conducted for a few office buildings in both countries. Finally issues of data collection, quality, sharing, and analysis methods are discussed. It was found that buildings in both countries performed very differently, had potential for deep energy retrofit, but that different efficiency measures should apply.

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