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Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES)

The Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES, pronounced "beads" or /bi:ds/) is designed to support analysis of the measured energy performance of commercial, multifamily, and residential buildings, by providing a common data format, definitions, and an exchange protocol for building characteristics, efficiency measures, and energy use.

Challenge

One of the primary challenges to expanding the building energy efficiency retrofit market is the lack of empirical data on the energy performance and physical and operational characteristics of commercial, multifamily, and residential buildings. This makes it difficult for building-level decision-makers to understand the drivers of variations in building performance, identify efficiency investment opportunities, and project the likely savings from investments. Moreover, the lack of empirical market data limits the ability of public sector actors to tailor the design and implementation of energy efficiency programs and policies to be most effective given local market conditions and trends.

Recent technology, market and policy drivers (smart meters, energy performance disclosure laws, etc.) are resulting in a rapid increase in generation of data about buildings and their energy performance. But this data is still hard to access, aggregate, share, and utilize because it is being housed in many decentralized databases, and in different formats. In other words, the lack of common terms, definitions and exchange protocols is a significant ongoing barrier to realizing the full value of building performance data.

Vision

The DOE's vision is to facilitate the optimal operation of the energy efficiency market by nurturing development of a robust ecosystem of interoperable private and public data tools. BEDES can help achieve this vision by facilitating the utilization and sharing of empirical building energy performance data among software tools and data collection and analysis activities, more easily and consistently and at lower cost. Data specifications have been successful in other markets. For example, Universal Product Codes (bar codes) are used to manage trade items from supply chains through the point of sale.

The Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES) could serve as a central "data dictionary" that a range of tools and platforms can either utilize or map to. A common data specification will increase interoperability among tools by mitigating the ambiguity and transaction costs associated with sharing and aggregating data. This would lower the cost and increase the availability of products and services that utilize energy data. As a result, these products and services will achieve greater market penetration and deliver better information to decision-makers.

Stakeholders and Use Cases

Stakeholders have wide-ranging uses for empirical data about building-level energy performance. But the three priority use cases for BEDES all involve the same stakeholders and require using much of the same information at a similar level of granularity.

Energy Efficiency Investment Decision-making
conducted by building owners and managers

Tracking and Disclosure of Building Performance
conducted by public entities

Energy Efficiency Program Implementation and Evaluation
conducted by public entities and program administrators

Get Involved

BEDES is currently in beta. For more information on Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's efforts to develop BEDES V1.0, please visit the BEDES Working Group website.

BEDES News

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