Publication Detail

Keeping track to stay on track for zero net energy: Modeling building and end use consumption targets for a ZNE community

UCD-ITS-RP-18-85

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Energy and Efficiency Institute, Consumer Energy Interfaces (cEnergi)

Suggested Citation:
Sanguinetti, Angela, Robert McMurry, Matthew Favetti, Belinda Huang, Suhaila Sikand, Kelsea Dombrovski, Jamie Oka, Alan Meier (2018) Keeping track to stay on track for zero net energy: Modeling building and end use consumption targets for a ZNE community. ACEEE 2018 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Over 80% of commercial buildings declaring a zero net energy (ZNE) goal do not have data-verified actual ZNE status. Thus, building occupants, managers, and other stakeholders may wish to track progress toward ZNE throughout the year to ensure the goal is met at the year’s end. This is difficult because the balance on any given day, week, or month need not be, and is unlikely to be, zero, given variation in solar production and energy usage due to weather fluctuations and occupancy patterns. This paper presents a model for calculating building and end use level consumption targets at multiple time-scales to serve as granular ZNE progress indicators for stakeholders and occupants. The process of developing these consumption targets involved multiple data sources, including loggers in each building configured to capture total PV production and consumption disaggregated by end uses. We provide an example for communicating ZNE progress indicators via an occupant-facing energy dashboard that we are currently developing. In order to offer occupants’ more achievable goals, we weighted each building’s targets based on pooled performance across the four buildings, and excluded end uses that were not part of the original ZNE design. Our process for modeling ZNE progress indicators can be replicated by other ZNE communities to keep stakeholders and occupants informed and engaged in reaching their energy goals.  

Key words: zero net energy, consumption indicators, photovoltaic production