‹ Consumption & Efficiency

Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)

Comparisons Between 1992, 1995, 1999, and 2003 CBECS

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Table 1. Survey Sample and Design
1992 1995 1999 2003
Sample Size (in-scope) 7,288 total;
5,468 area sample;
1,820 supplemental list
6,639 total;
5,448 area sample;
1,191supplemental list
6,313 total;
5,694 area sample;
619 supplemental list
6,380 total;
5,736 area sample;
644 supplemental list
Response Rate 91% 87% 86% 82%
Target Population:
Building Use
Buildings used primarily for commercial purposes; EXCLUDES nonresidential, agricultural and industrial buildings; INCLUDES commercial buildings on industrial facilities Same as 1992 EXCEPT EXCLUDES commercial buildings on industrial facilities and parking garages Same as 1995 Same as 1995
Target Population:
Building Size
Buildings larger than 1,000 square feet Same as 1992 Same as 1992 EXCEPT sample did not include buildings constructed since 1995 that were under 10,000 square feet in size Same as 1992
Target Population:
Location
50 States and District of Columbia Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Target Respondent:
Building Characteristics
Building owners, managers or tenants Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Target Respondent:
Energy Consumption and  Expenditures
Energy suppliers Same as 1992 Building owners, managers or tenants (energy suppliers were contacted only when information could not be provided by the building respondent, or the figures provided did not pass survey edits) Same as 1999
Data Collection Instrument Paper and Pencil Personal Interview Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI)
Supplemental Collections Data on building maintenance and repairs for the Bureau of Census None collected None collected Supplemental sample collected for Enviromental Protection Agency
Table 2. Building Characteristics
1992 1995 1999 2003
Principal Building Activity: Collection Interviewer observation, then confirmed with respondent Same as 1992 Asked of respondents only; specific building types were collected within major categories Same as 1999
Principal Building Activity: Categories Vacant;
Office/Professional;
Shopping center/ Mall/Retail/Service;
Laboratory;
Non-refrigerated warehouse or storage; Food sales;
Public order and safety; Outpatient health services/ Clinic; Industrial processing and manufacturing;
Agricultural purposes;
Refrigerated warehouse or storage;
Religious worship;
Public assembly; Education; Food services;
Hospital/Inpatient health services;
Skilled nursing/Other residential care;
Hotel/Motel/Dorm;
Residential;
Indoor enclosed parking garage;
Other
Same as 1992
EXCEPT
these activities broken out into separate categories:
Enclosed shopping mall; Strip shopping center; Retail other than mall; Service
Fewer initial general categories, but ultimately same as 1995 after specific building type questions asked Same as 1999
AND
Data center/Computer "server farm"
Out of Scope Activities Industrial; Agricultural; Residential Same as 1992
AND
Indoor parking garages
Same as 1995 Same as 1995
Floorspace Actual square footage or square footage categories:
1,001 to 5,000; 5,001 to 10,000;
10,001 to 25,000;
25,001 to 50,000;
50,001 to 100,000; 100,001 to 200,000; 200,001 to 500,000; Over 500,000
Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Year Constructed Actual year constructed or year constructed categories:
1899 or before;
1900-1919;
1920-1945;
1946-1959;
1960-1969;
1970-1979;
1980-1989;
1990-1992
Actual year constructed or year constructed categories:
1899 or before;
1900-1919;
1920-1945;
1946-1959;
1960-1969;
1970-1979;
1980-1989;
1990-1992;
1993-1995
Actual year constructed or year constructed categories:
1919 or before; 1920-1945;
1946-1959;
1960-1969;
1970-1979;
1980-1989;
1990-1995;
1996-1999
Actual year constructed or year constructed categories:
1919 or before;
1920-1945;
1946-1959;
1960-1969;
1970-1979;
1980-1989;
1990-1999;
2000-2003
Ownership/ Occupancy Building owned by/occupied by (asked once for owned and again for occupied):
Federal government; State government; Local government; Privately-owned utility Company;
Religious organization;
Private or non-profit organization 
Building owned by:
Federal government;
State government;
Local government
Same as 1995

Building owned by: Federal government; State government; Local government; Property management company; Other corporation, partnership, or LLC; Religious organization; Other non-profit organization; Privately-owned school; Individual owner; Other

Number of businesses or organizations that occupy the building Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Whether the occupant is (or the occupants include) the owner or owner's representative Whether one of the occupants is the building owner or owner's representative Whether the occupant (or one of the occupants) owns the building, and if not, whether the owner employs anyone who works on-site Whether this owner occupies any space in building
Hours of Operation Number of normal operating hours for each day of the week (or, for each day, whether the building is open 24 hours, is not open, or the hours vary)
OR
Hours vary by season
Open 24 hours a day
OR
If the hours do not vary, the opening and closing times for weekdays, Saturday, and Sunday 
Open 24 hours a day
OR
Whether building is open Monday through Friday, open some of the days, or not open on weekdays; and Whether it is normally open on weekends
Same as 1999
Total operating hours per week (actual number or category) Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Number of Employees Number of main shift workers (actual number or category) Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Total workers across all shifts (actual number of category) Not collected Not collected Not collected
Predominant Exterior Wall Material Categories Masonry;
Siding or shingles; Metal panels;
Concrete panels;
Window glass;
Decorative glass;
Other
Same as 1992 AND
No one major type
Not collected Brick, stone or stucco; Concrete panels; Concrete (block or poured); Siding or shingles; Metal panels; Window glass; Decorative glass; Other; No one major type
Predominant Roof Material Categories Built-up;
Wood shingles;
Shingles (not wood); Metal surfacing;
Synthetic or rubber; Slate or tile; Concrete;
Other
Same as 1992 AND
No one major type
Not collected Same as 1995
Building Footprint Square;
Rectangle;
Rectangle or Square with courtyard;
H-Shaped;
U-Shaped;
E-Shaped;
T-Shaped;
L- or Right angle- shaped;
Cross-shaped;
Other
Not collected Not collected Same as 1992 EXCEPT Rectangle broken out into Wide rectangle or Narrow rectangle
Length and width of building Not collected Not collected  Not collected
Exterior glass Percentage of exterior wall surface that is glass Not collected Not collected Range describing percent of exterior wall surface that is glass: 10 percent or less; 11 to 25 percent; 26 to 50 percent; 51 to 75 percent; 76 to 100 percent
AND
Whether amount of glass is same for all sides of building and, if not, whether the sides receiving direct sunlight have more or less glass area than the sides that do not receive direct sunlight
Floors Actual number of floors in tallest section of building (including basements and parking levels) Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Elevators and Escalators Not collected Not collected Not collected Presence and number of each
Renovations Not collected Not collected Not collected For buildings constructed before 1980, whether any portion of building had undergone major renovations since 1980, and which types: Addition or annex; Reduction of floorspace; Cosmetic improvements; Exterior replacement; Interior wall re-configuration; HVAC upgrade; Lighting upgrade; Window replacement; Plumbing upgrade; Insulation upgrade
Space Usage Commercial food preparation;
Computer room; Activities requiring special ventilation equipment;
Activities requiring large amounts of hot water
Same as 1992 EXCEPT
did not ask about rooms requiring special ventilation equipment
Same as 1995 EXCEPT
did not ask about computer room
Same as 1995
Multibuilding Facility Whether building is on multibuilding facility Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Presence of central physical plant that produces:
District hot water; District steam; District chilled water;
Electricity
Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Primary business, commerce or function of multibuilding facility:
Primary or secondary school; College, university or junior college; Other school; Shopping center/Mall; Automotive sales and service; Other retail sales and service; Office; Warehouse; Industrial/ Manufacturing; Hospital or other health service; Religious activities; Hotel/Motel; Amusement or recreation; Transportation; Residential; Agricultural; Other
Primary business, commerce or function of multibuilding facility:
Primary or secondary school; College, university or junior college; Other school; Hospital or other health care; Manufacturing industrial; Other industrial; Transportation; Post office; Prison; Other government; Other
Primary business, commerce or function of multibuilding facility:
Primary or secondary school; College, university or junior college; Other school; Office; Retail; Religious; Hospital or other health care; Post office; Other goverment; Manufacturing industrial; Other industrial; Transportation; Other
Same as 1999
AND
Lodging or resort
Not collected Not collected Whether campus or complex is owned by the Federal goverment Same as 1999
Table 3. Energy Sources and Consumption
1992 1995 1999 2003
Energy Sources Used in building:
Electricity;
Natural gas;
Fuel oil, diesel, or kerosene;
Bottled gas, LPG or propane;
District steam;
District hot water;
District chilled water; Wood;
Coal;
Photovoltaic cells;
Solar thermal panels; Other
Same as 1992 Same as 1992
EXCEPT
did not ask about Photovoltaic cells
Same as 1999
Energy End Uses Energy used for:
Heating
Air conditioning;
Domestic hot water; Commercial or institutional cooking;
Manufacturing;
Electricity generation 
Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Energy Technologies Presence of:
Thermal energy storage;
Passive solar features;
Geothermal energy; Well water for cooling;
Waste incineration for energy;
Wind generation;
Other
Presence of:
Passive solar features; Photovoltaic arrays; Geothermal energy;
Well water for Cooling ;
Wind Generation
Not collected Not collected
Fuel Switching Building could switch main heating fuel within one week's time to:
Electricity;
Natural Gas;
Fuel Oil, diesel, or kerosene;
Propane;
District steam;
District hot water; Wood;
Other
Same as 1992  AND
Coal and Solar
Not collected Not collected
Electricity Generation or Cogeneration Building has ability to generate electric power for:
Emergency back-up;
Only during high electricity demand;
Continuously for most of year
Same as 1992 Building actually generated electricity during survey period for:
Emergency back-up;
Only during high electricity demand; Whenever electricity used
Same as 1999
Generating system is cogeneration system Same as 1992 Not collected Same as 1992
System is interconnected with electric utility Same as 1992 Not collected Same as 1992
On-site generated electric power is:
Totally consumed within building;
Partially or totally delivered to local electric utility;
Partially or totally delivered to another building(s)
Same as 1992 Not collected Not collected
Electricity Generation Technologies Not collected Not collected Not collected Photovoltaic cells; Fuel cells; Microturbines
Electricity Purchasing Not collected Percentage category of electricity purchased from:
Local utility; Non-utility; Non in-house source (such as independent power producer)
Whether purchased from:
Local utility;
Independent power producer or non-local utility; Someone else such as a broker
AND
Percentage of electricity purchased from local utility
Same as 1999
Natural Gas Purchasing Gas purchased from other than local distribution company Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Cost of gas purchased from other than local distribution company Not collected Not collected Not collected
Consumption and Expenditures Estimated cost (ranges) of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil Same as 1992 Not collected Not collected
Estimated amount (range) and cost (range) of propane and wood Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Actual energy consumption and expenditures obtained from energy suppliers in separate Energy Supplier Survey Same as 1992 Actual energy consumption and expenditures obtained from building respondent; when not available (or when reported data failed edits), consumption and expenditures obtained from energy suppliers in separate mail survey Same as 1999
Table 4. Energy-Using Equipment
1992 1995 1999 2003
Heated Floorspace Percent of total floorspace heated to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Heating Equipment Types of equipment and percentage of floorspace heated by:
Heat pumps; Furnaces;
Individual space heaters;
District steam or hot water piped in from outside source; Boilers; Packaged heating units; Other type 
Same as 1992 Same as 1992
AND
Main equipment replaced since 1995
Same as 1992
AND
Main equipment replaced since 1990
AND
Type of heat pump system:
Packaged unit; Residential-type split system; Individual room heat pump
AND
Heat pump source:
Air source; Ground source or ground water; Water loop
Cooled Floorspace Percentage of total floorspace cooled by air conditioning equipment Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Cooling Equipment Types of equipment and percentage of floorspace cooled by:
Residential type central air conditioner;
Heat pumps for cooling;
Individual room air conditioners; District chilled water piped in from outside source; Central chillers; Packaged air conditioning units; Swamp coolers (evaporative coolers);
Other type
Same as 1992 Same as 1992
AND
Main equipment replaced since 1995
Same as 1992
AND
Main equipment replaced since 1990
AND
Heat pump types and sources same as for heating (see above)
Heating and Cooling Distribution System Radiators or baseboards (heating only);
Forced air through ducts or air handling units;
Fan-coil units without ducts;
Other type
Same as 1992
AND
whether equipment designed to heat or cool directly
Not collected Not collected
Refrigeration Equipment Presence of commercial refrigerators or freezers Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Presence of any refrigeration or freezer equipment (did not specify "commercial")
Presence and number of:
Walk-in units;
Open cases or cabinets;
Closed cases or cabinets
Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
AND
Residential-type units; Refrigerated vending machines
Linear feet of open and closed cases or cabinets Not collected Not collected Not collected
Water Heating Equipment Centralized system:
With self-heating tank;
Which draws heat from space heating equipment;
Other centralized system

Distributed or point-of-use system:
With residential type storage tank;
With instantaneous heaters at point of use;
Other distributed system

Centralized system;
Distributed or point-of-use system;
Combination centralized and distributed

Whether system uses heat pump water heater

Same as 1995 EXCEPT did not collect heat pump water heaters Same as 1999
Lighted Floorspace Percentage of floorspace lighted during operating hours (actual number or category) Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Percentage of floorspace lighted during off hours (category only) Same as 1992 Percentage of floorspace lighted during off hours (actual number or category) Same as 1999
Lighting Equipment Types of bulbs and percentage of floorspace lit by:
Incandescent;  Fluorescent other than compact fluorescent; Compact fluorescent;
High intensity discharge (HID); Other type
Same as 1992
AND
Halogen
Same as 1995 Same as 1995
Office Equipment Number of personal computers and/or computer terminals category Same as 1992 Number of personal computers (actual number or category);
Actual number of photocopiers (excluding small desktop copiers);
Presence of FAX machines;
Presence of laser printers
Number of computers (actual number or category); Number of dedicated servers (actual number or category); Presence of flat screen monitors whether all, most, some or a few computers have them; Number of printers (actual number) and type of printer (inkjet or laser); Number of cash registers in retail, food sales, or food service buildings (actual); Number of photocopiers (actual); Presence of FAX machines
Medical Equipment Not collected Not collected Equipment used for medical diagnosis or treatment  Same as 1999
Laboratory Equipment Not collected Not collected Not collected Presence of specialized laboratory equipment that requires extra energy consumption (asked only of certain building types)
Machine Equipment Not collected Not collected Not collected Presence of machine or shop equipment such as woodworking tools, metalworking tools, arc welders, or any other types of power tools (asked only of certain building types)
Indoor Swimming Pool Not collected Not collected Not collected Presence of indoor pool and if so, whether heated and by which energy source (asked only of certain building types)
Table 5. Selected Conservation Measures
1992 1995 1999 2003
Lighting Conservation Specular reflectors;
Daylighting controls; Occupancy sensors; Time clocks or timed switches; Manual dimmer switches;
Other lighting conservation equipment
Same as 1992
AND
Energy-efficient ballasts
Specular reflectors; Electronic ballasts; Skylights or atriums (designed specifically to provide light) Same as 1999
AND
Automatic controls or sensors that increase or reduce lighting in response to level of natural light
Sponsor of lighting conservation feature Same as 1992 Not collected Not collected
Percent of lighted building space lighted by each feature listed above Not collected Not collected Not collected
Insulation Roof or ceiling insulation;
Exterior wall insulation
Same as 1992 Not collected Not collected
Installed during construction or added (if added, year added) Not collected Not collected Not collected
Sponsor of building envelope conservation feature Same as 1992 Not collected Not collected
Windows Storm windows or doors, thermal pane or double or triple paned glass Same as 1992 Single paned windows; Multi-paned windows; Combination of both Same as 1999
Tinted or reflective glass or shading films Same as 1992 Same as 1992 EXCEPT did not include shading films in question Tinted window glass and Reflective window glass asked separately
Exterior awnings or interior horizontal or vertical shades or miniblinds Same as 1992 Not collected Exterior overhangs or awnings
Most windows open and close Not collected Not collected Not collected
Installed during construction or added (if added, year added). Not collected Not collected Not collected
Not collected Sponsor of window conservation feature Not collected Not collected
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Variable air volume (VAV) system; Economizer cycle; Regularly scheduled maintenance and repair Same as 1992 Same as 1992 Same as 1992
Installed during construction or added (if added, year added) Not collected Not collected Not collected
Sponsor of HVAC conservation feature  Same as 1992 Not collected Not collected
Energy Audit Whether performed AND sponsor Same as 1992 Not collected Not collected
Energy Management and Control System (EMCS) Presence of EMCS Same as 1992 AND sponsor Same as 1992 Given as a choice of how heating or cooling is reduced when building not in full use (not asked unless heating or cooling is reduced)
EMCS controls: Heating;
Cooling;
Domestic hot water heating;
Lighting;
Any other equipment
Not collected Not collected EMCS controls:
Heating; Cooling; Lighting
Person with Day-to-Day Energy Responsibility Building owner or manager;
Custodian or maintenance engineer; Dedicated dnergy manager; Cleaning or maintenance contractor;
Repair service upon need;
Someone else
Presence of full-time building energy manager Not collected Not collected
Length of service Not collected Not collected Not collected
Percent of time devoted to operating and maintaining HVAC equipment in building Not collected Not collected Not collected
Other Conservation Features or Programs Energy-efficient motors; Direct electricity load control;
Thermal storage; Standby electricity generation;
Process heating or cooling (waste heat recovery); Interruptible natural gas rate
Same as 1992
AND
Special rates or incentives
Not collected Not collected
Sponsor of feature or program Same as 1992 Not collected Not collected
Reduction in Use During Off-Hours Heating;
Cooling;
Hot water heating;
Lighting;
Other equipment
Heating;
Cooling;
Lighting
Heating;
Cooling;
Office equipment and computers
Same as 1999

Specific questions on this product may be directed to:

Joelle Michaels
joelle.michaels@eia.gov
Survey Manager