Base year selection can be a challenge in a real building, but a pragmatic approach can make things easier. As discussed in my previous article, 10 Steps To a Useful Energy Model, a base year is a representative year of building utility data used to help calibrate/validate an energy model. It is also used as a starting point to judge savings when applying energy retrofits to a model.
There are various ways to perform analysis of energy data while selecting a base year. A few of them will be covered here, but on real projects, with real buildings, there will often be a very easy way to select a base year – the only year of data you have. When asking for energy data it’s common to request three or more consecutive years worth. This is not going to happen every time. If less than twelve months of data is provided and the client desires a full, whole-building energy model, it may be very difficult to achieve a satisfactory accuracy. Continue reading