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Impact of More Precise Electricity Price Data on Estimated Energy Costs from Energy Standard Adoption for Buildings



Joshua D. Kneifel, David T. Butry


Energy efficiency requirements in current building energy codes vary across states, and many states have not yet adopted the latest editions of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 for commercial buildings or the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for residential buildings. Some states do not have a code requirement for energy efficiency, leaving it up to the locality or jurisdiction to set its own requirement. There may be significant energy savings to be realized by states if they were to adopt more energy efficient building energy codes. The Applied Economics Office (AEO) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed the Building Industry Reporting and Design for Sustainability (BIRDS) database, which estimates the sustainability (energy, economic, and environmental) performance for eleven commercial building prototypes in each of 228 cities across the U.S. designed to different energy efficiency levels. The analysis of the BIRDS database includes estimates of both the average percentage change in energy consumption and the aggregate changes in energy consumption from the adoption of a more restrictive energy code for one year’s worth of construction for each state in the nation. At the time the BIRDS database was compiled a number of data sources were at the state-level of precision, including new building construction data and average electricity costs per kilowatt- hour of consumption. Since both of these two factors may vary across cities within a state, the approach could lead to inaccuracies in the state-level aggregate estimations. This study implements an approach to associate every county in the U.S. to one of the 228 cities included in the BIRDS database to create multi-county “city clusters,” and matches city-level average residential electricity costs to all counties in a city cluster. By defining these city clusters, the study can determine the variation in electricity prices across each state
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1179
Report Number


BIRDS, buildings, energy efficiency, residential electricity prices, sustainability, whole building energy simulation


Kneifel, J. and Butry, D. (2014), Impact of More Precise Electricity Price Data on Estimated Energy Costs from Energy Standard Adoption for Buildings, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created December 19, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018