Thursday, February 3, 2011

Energy Utilization Index (EUI) for Buildings in the Southwest United States

For those of you that are questioning where this topic came from, you should know that my second passion is energy analysis and audits of commercial buildings.  My experience in establishing baselines for commercial building Energy Utilization Indices quickly revealed that there is a lack of shared information on this topic.  If you are working on a school or a building type that is listed in the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, you have a good shot at comparing numbers with other buildings.  If your building does not fall into this limited category of buildings, you've got nothing unless you are well-networked with facility operators who actually track this.  I have to give a big shout-out to the folks over at University of Nevada in Las Vegas who have been tracking this for multiple buildings on campus for years.  They KNOW how their buildings are operating!  Unfortunately, many of their buildings fall into the educational building category or assembly-hall type building.

If you are managing a casino, community center, non-typical office building, detention center or hotel with convention and/or gambling areas, you have very little information to compare your building with.  If you are interested in establishing your Energy Utilization Index and knowing what others are finding, please email me at  My goal is to put together a database of shared information regarding the energy utilization in our buildings in Southern Nevada.  Another useful figure would be water use.

All you need to establish your energy utilization index is your energy usage (check the power and gas bills, watch out if you have numerous meters on site) and the square footage of the building.  It is always helpful to note parking and outdoor square footage that is served off the meters.  Convert your electrical and gas to KBTUh, add both for an entire year, and divide by the square footage of the building and/or site.  This gives you the baseline for comparison that will help you track how your building is operating compared with others.

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