Development of the Household Sample for Furnace and Boiler Life-Cycle Cost Analysis

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Residential household space heating energy use comprises close to half of all residential energy consumption. Currently, average space heating use by household is 43.9 Mbtu for a year. An average, however, does not reflect regional variation in heating practices, energy costs, or fuel type. Indeed, a national average does not capture regional or consumer group cost impacts from changing efficiency levels of heating equipment. The US Department of Energy sets energy standards for residential appliances in, what is called, a rulemaking process. The residential furnace and boiler efficiency rulemaking process investigates the costs and benefits of possible updates to the current minimum efficiency regulations. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) selected the sample used in the residential furnace and boiler efficiency rulemaking from publicly available data representing United States residences. The sample represents 107 million households in the country. The data sample provides the household energy consumption and energy price inputs to the life-cycle cost analysis segment of the furnace and boiler rulemaking. This paper describes the choice of criteria to select the sample of houses used in the rulemaking process. The process of data extraction is detailed in the appendices and is easily duplicated.The life-cycle cost is calculated in two ways with a household marginal energy price and a national average energy price. The LCC results show that using an national average energy price produces higher LCC savings but does not reflect regional differences in energy price.

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Formal Report, Proceedings of 2006 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Less is More -- En Route to Zero Energy Buildings, 2006


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