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The U.S.-India Joint Center for Building Energy Research & Development (CBERD), created through the Partnership to Accelerate Clean Energy (PACE) agreement between the United States and India, is a research and development (R&D) center with over 30 institutional and industry partners from both nations. This five-year presidential initiative is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Government of India. CBERD aims to build upon a foundation of collaborative knowledge, tools, and technologies, and human capabilities that will increase development of high-performance buildings. To reach this goal, the R&D focuses on energy use reduction throughout the entire life cycle of buildings—i.e., design, construction, and operations. During the operations phase of buildings, even with best-practice energy-efficient design, actual energy use can be much higher than the design intent. Every day, much of the energy consumed by buildings serves no purpose (Roth et al. 2005).
Building energy information systems (EIS) are commercially available systems that building owners and facility managers use to assess their building operations, measure, visualize, analyze, and report energy cost and consumption. Energy information systems can enable significant energy savings by tracking energy use, identifying consumption patterns, and benchmarking performance against similar buildings, thereby identifying improvement opportunities. The CBERD team has identified potential energy savings of approximately 2 quads of primary energy in the United States, while industry building energy audits in India have indicated potential energy savings of up to 30 percent in commercial buildings such as offices. Additionally, the CBERD team has identified healthcare facilities (e.g., hospitals, clinics), hotels, and offices as the three of the highest-growth sectors in India that have significant energy consumption, and that would benefit the most from implementation of EIS.