BETTER is a public-access, data-driven tool requiring minimal inputs and short run time to benchmark buildings against peers, quantify energy and cost savings, and recommend energy efficiency improvements. Inputs are minimal (basic building characteristics and utility bill data), resulting in an automatically-generated assessment report (see example on the following page). The output report quantifies potential energy and cost savings for a building – or an entire portfolio – and recommends optimal operational and technological improvements to help users make the most cost-effective energy efficiency investments and realize actual savings.
The tool is open-source and available on GitHub for public use and modification. A ReadMe and a PowerPoint presentation are also available at the site to help you get started. These resources will be continually updated as the tool development process continues. BETTER is currently in an alpha version, and will be updated over time. (BETTER Snapshot)
Value to Users
BETTER provides building owners and managers with visibility into the energy performance of their buildings and portfolios, to help identify immediate energy efficiency improvement opportunities and to focus further energy audits and studies. The tool analyzes a building’s energy data and how energy usage responds to weather conditions to generate customized recommendations and potential savings for each building. The savings are presented both in terms of energy use (so that property owners can see their potential reduction in impact on the power grid and the environment) as well as in cost (so that owners can see the impact of energy efficiency improvements on their bottom line).
The tool also allows users to compare a building’s performance against either (a) a built-in reference dataset, or (b) the user’s own portfolio. This allows owners of larger portfolios to focus on improvements in buildings with the highest potential for savings.