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Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)

2018 CBECS Survey Data 2018 | 2012 | 2003 | 1999 | 1995 | 1992 |

Public Use Microdata File

The 2018 CBECS public use microdata file contains untabulated records about individual buildings. This file is published so that data users can create custom tables that are not available through our pretabulated data tables.

The microdata file contains 6,436 records. They represent commercial buildings from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each record corresponds to a single response from an in-scope building in the sample. The sample represents an estimated 5.9 million total buildings in the United States.

Data are available in two formats: a CSV (comma delimited) file and a SAS data file. The variable and response codebook contains the variable length, type, labels, and the values or response codes that apply to each variable.

2018 CBECS microdata
File name Format Release date Revised date
2018 CBECS microdata SAS November 2021 December 2022
2018 CBECS microdata CSV November 2021 December 2022
Variable and response codebook XLS November 2021 December 2022
User's Guide to the 2018 CBECS Public Use Microdata File PDF November 2021 January 2023
Survey questionnaire (EIA-871A) PDF November 2021 n/a
Show cards PDF November 2021 n/a
Detailed table examples      
Table B1 XLS November 2021 December 2022
Table B2 XLS November 2021 December 2022
Table B3 XLS November 2021 December 2022
Table C1 XLS December 2022 n/a
Table C4 XLS December 2022 n/a
Table C15 XLS December 2022 n/a
Table C25 XLS December 2022 n/a
Table E1 XLS December 2022 n/a
Table E4 XLS December 2022 n/a

2018 CBECS microdata files and information

We strongly encourage data users to read the User's Guide to the 2018 CBECS Public Use Microdata File. The guide includes examples of how to calculate estimates and standard errors (RSEs), a list of changes from the 2012 public use files, and sample tables created using the microdata. The guide also describes how masking procedures are used to avoid disclosing individual building identities.

The microdata file includes approximately 620 questionnaire variables, plus imputation flags and survey weights for the 6,436 CBECS building cases. Final weights must be used when calculating estimates from the survey data. We also recommend using replicate weights to calculate relative standard errors (RSEs) and confidence intervals in order to understand how well the survey estimates reflect the population. Replicate weights are provided for each of the buildings to correctly account for the complex probabilities of selecting a building during sampling.

The 2018 CBECS was conducted using a computer-assisted survey questionnaire. The building respondent completed the survey either with the assistance of a professional interviewer or on their own using a web version of the same questionnaire. The specifications for the computer-assisted survey questionnaire are provided on this page to assist you while using the microdata file, along with the Show Cards, which are questionnaire aids used during the interview that include response lists, examples, and illustrations.

Please note that results tabulated from this file will not exactly match the published CBECS data tables, which use unmasked data rather than the public use data that has been masked for disclosure avoidance. For public data users who wish to verify their tabulations, a few selected tables are available that use the microdata file, both in Excel format (above) or printed in the Appendix of the User's Guide to the 2018 CBECS Public Use Microdata File.


The identities of individual buildings included in the CBECS are confidential and protected by law. The data in the public use microdata file have been masked using various disclosure avoidance techniques. The file does not contain building names, addresses, or any information that might identify an individual building. The smallest level of geographic detail available is the census division, of which there are nine in the United States. No state-level identifiers are available. You can find detailed information on how confidentiality is protected in the User's Guide to the 2018 CBECS Public Use Microdata File.

Questions about CBECS may be directed to:

Joelle Michaels
Survey Manager