EA-QUIP

Analyzes energy use and energy conservation measure opportunities in single- and multifamily dwellings. A brief explanation for each question and range of possible answers is only a keystroke away. This makes EA-QUIP (Energy Audit using the Queens Information Package) user-friendly. EA-QUIP was adapted from the Computerized, Instrumented, Residential Audit (CIRA) developed in the early 1980s at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. It has recently been migrated to an entirely online format at www.ea-quip.com.

EA-QUIP determines economically optimal mixes of energy-saving measures for a given building and within a chosen budget, for which it uses retrofit and cost libraries. From the library of measures, the program chooses those which are applicable to the building under consideration and ranks them by decreasing savings-to-cost ratio. This ratio is defined for each retrofit as the life cycle savings (energy savings minus future maintenance and replacement costs over the user-selected time horizon for each retrofit) divided by the installed cost of the measure. EA-QUIP provides preformatted energy and economics reports such as: Applicable Energy Conservation Measures rated by Life-Time savings per investment, Existing conditions, Energy savings, Savings and costs analysis, and an Investment Analysis report where measures are prioritized and ranked by Saving to Investment Ratio (SIR). For energy auditors and energy policy makers who are more interested in the most desirable energy-saving combination of retrofits, EA-QUIP provides a three-stage automated process: the selection of retrofits, their economic optimization, and their predictive analysis.

Keywords

building modeling, energy savings analysis, retrofit optimization (work scope development), investment analysis, online energy analysis tool, multifamily building analysis

Validation/Testing

N/A

Expertise Required

Basic understanding of building science and interactions between building systems. Medium level of computer knowledge required. Training is recommended to maximize use of program features.

Users

More than 300. EA-QUIP is currently being used for multifamily buildings in New York, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Colorado. It has been approved as a DOE waiver audit for weatherization.

Audience

Energy professionals interested in energy-efficient retrofitting of single- and multifamily buildings, including (but not limited to) low-income weatherization program professionals.

Input

Client information, geographic location, general site details, at least one year’s worth of complete heating fuel bills, lighting, walls, windows, infiltration, heating system, appliances, doors, roof, basement, and control and distribution. A number of adjustable parameters (combustion efficiency, interior day/night temperature, domestic hot water use, domestic hot water temperature, etc.) for which data to be entered can be measured, through the on-site inspection of the dwelling, often only approximately, are important to the energy analysis of the dwelling.

Output

After all the questions about the dwelling have been properly answered, EA-QUIP estimates monthly and yearly heating and cooling energy consumption, evaluates current electricity use, seasonal infiltration, seasonal solar gain, heating load, and, on request, recommends combinations of energy-saving measures suitable for a range of budgets. Users can also alter the savings calculations by changing the cost, lifetime, and new efficiency or energy rating of retrofits such as boiler, domestic hot water, and window replacements to tailor the software to specific scopes of work. Every combination is chosen to produce the highest energy savings for a given budget. Interest and inflation rates, maintenance costs of the installed measures, and projected period of occupancy are taken into account in the savings analysis.

Computer Platform

Internet connection strictly required. Either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox (other browsers may be acceptable but are not actively tested by EA-QUIP technical support). PDF viewers and Microsoft Excel and Word are also strongly suggested.

Programming Language

Basic (nontechnical)

Strengths

There is no need to learn a language or remember any commands to use EA-QUIP. EA-QUIP does the work by asking questions; the user simply answers the questions displayed on the screen. The questions are grouped by components such as infiltration, roof, basement, economics and fuel, heating system, walls, and windows. EA-QUIP leads the user automatically through each component. EA-QUIP enables the user to either input or use programmed default values to ensure consistent and reliable results, and maintains a quick and simple program for new and experienced users. The user can always override default values and retrofit costs according to project characteristics. EA-QUIP enables the user to add or remove items in some of the components such as wall, window, roof, and basement where more than one, or no, item may be present. For example, if the dwelling has more than one type of wall and roof, the user can create an additional wall and roof instance to input separate data for each type. EA-QUIP has moved to an entirely online format, so all aspects of users’ building models and analytic reports are accessible wherever there is an Internet connection. The user does not need to manually import weather or city data; this is automatically done nightly via the database server.

EA-QUIP has extensive retrofit and cost libraries, all of which are grouped by components, which makes it very easy for the user to modify the costs and lifetimes of potential retrofits. EA-QUIP generates several preformatted reports that provide energy and economic results. The building model report presents the current energy characteristics of the building, others list all the retrofits found to be cost effective, ranked in order of declining cost effectiveness or increasing payback period, which is very helpful for developing prioritized scope of work based on the SIR or decreasing payback. Once an analysis is completed, EA-QUIP enables the user to create a Work scope based on economically desirable and validation requirements for each building. Each of the energy conservation measures found to be cost-effective are listed and asked whether to include it in the Work scope. To further analyze these retrofits, the user can generate additional reports such as energy savings of chosen retrofits, post-install calculated use, and auto-check report (for troubleshooting/truing up the model). Also, EA-QUIP administrators and technical support can, with permission, access building files and help troubleshoot modeling issues.

Weaknesses

Some of EA-QUIP’s strengths are also its weakness. For example, EA-QUIP has an extensive retrofit library; however, adding new retrofits is not possible without software administrator intervention; external analysis may be necessary. Once a building is entered and analyzed, EA-QUIP automatically creates a building data file, report files, and analytics all stored in an online database; unless a user saves a copy of the reports, data entry, and retrofit costs library, many aspects of the software and user’s model are unavailable without Internet access. One of the biggest drawbacks of the EA-QUIP is that it does not allow a building model to use multiple fuel types. In these cases, for a model to reflect the entire building’s fuel consumption, the user must convert one fuel type to the other and combine the fuel bills before entering the data. Also, EA-QUIP will not analyze the dwelling's domestic hot water fuel use if the maker’s fuel type is different than the primary fuel type (the heating fuel) if the user does not combine the domestic hot water and heating fuel bills.

Contact

Company:

Association for Energy Affordability, Inc.

Address:

105 Bruckner Boulevard
505 Eighth Avenue
New York, New York 10454
United States

Telephone:

212-292-6733

Facsimile:

212-292-1914

E-mail:

eaquipsupport@aeanyc.org

Website:

http://www.ea-quip.com

Availability

A reduced fee per building model is offered to weatherization agencies nationwide. Fee-based technical assistance is available to all. Training is offered by the Association for Energy Affordability. For all other nongovernmental entities, fully functional software and technical training packages are available. Contact Evan Markel or Nick Dirr at above number for further information.