One of the most common complaints a client (or an energy modeler) vocalizes is that the energy model does not match up with the existing utility rates.
It seems that no matter how much you explain that the % savings stays the same regardless of an exact match on utility bills - the client won't believe you, until he or she sees the utility bills matching with the energy model output.
I've heard this question a lot... That's probably an understatement. As a result, I found that I was able to solve mis-matched models based on a "gut feeling". However, one day I decided to write down my thought process to obtain this "gut feeling" and realized that there was a method I was using, based on seeing thousands of energy-models. (to be specific, this happened after I deduced a Utility bill problem in EnergyPro for someone with whom I had supported - and the funny part is that I have never even opened EnergyPro)
With my nerdy side emerging, I did what most engineers would do: I made a spreadsheet. I noted patterns between the month to month relationships of the energy-model vs. the actual utility bills.
The result I came up with is a 7 step approach to finding what you need to change in your Energy-model to help it match the existing utility bills. Now, it can't solve everything (2012 was an unusually WARM year - and thus can't match up with an energy model built with a standard TMY3 weather file). However, I tried the 7 step approach, and I got my model to match the 2012 utility bills anyway. (every month of gas & electric bills to match +/- 5%)
I've considered keeping this approach a secret and using it to monopolize the performance contracting business. However, I think it would serve us all better if we matched our energy models to existing utility rates and stop making clients think that energy-modeling is just voodoo on a computer. In my opinion, this stigma is the biggest threat to energy modeling - and it is primarily caused when the model doesn't match reality.
Ergo, in the hopes of protecting the business of energy-modeling - I will be presenting a Webinar that walks through this 7 step approach on June 19th. Check it out here
You will also get exclusive access to the Web app - which will not be a publicly available tool - like the Climatezoner (All proceeds from the course will be directed to further development of the web app)
Bob Fassbender graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a degree in Chemical-Engineering. Following graduation, he spent 3 years working as a Marketing Engineer for Trane C.D.S. In the C.D.S. group, Bob developed and supported design and analysis software, primarily TRACE 700™. In addition to his development work, Bob also traveled around the country as a TRACE 700™ and System Analyzer™ instructor. Bob is also an experienced user with eQUEST energy modeling software. Today, Bob continues training and energy modeling as a LEED accredited professional (with a focus on LEED EA credit 1).
Energy-Models.com is a site for energy modelers, building simulators, architects, and engineers who want learn the basics, to advanced concepts of energy modeling. We've got online training courses and tutorials for eQUEST, Trane TRACE 700, OpenStudio, and LEED for energy modeling. All our energy modeling courses are video based. What better way to learn energy modeling software than screen-casts of exactly how things are done?