Building Energy Modeling Enhancements to Identify Least-Cost Pathways to Net-Zero Carbon Homes: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Residential grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) can utilize high levels of energy efficiency and demand flexibility to deliver value to occupants, the grid, and society. However, without the ability to analyze, design, and optimize residential GEBs there is a risk that homes will not realize their full potential value as efficient and dynamic resources, which could ultimately lead to higher than necessary energy costs for U.S. households and lower realization of potential energy efficiency and demand flexibility benefits such as increased convenience/automation, thermal comfort, durability, indoor air quality, and resilience. In 2018, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Residential Modeling Team developed a vision for an open source Residential GEB Analytics Platform built within DOE's EnergyPlus and OpenStudio modeling environment that would enable the design and optimization of residential GEBs, including the identification of least-cost pathways to highly energy-efficient and energy-flexible homes (e.g., net zero carbon homes). We created a detailed workplan for the development of new and enhanced residential GEB component-level models for EnergyPlus and OpenStudio needed to progress toward the vision for the analytics platform while delivering near-term benefits to industry. This paper 1) presents the vision for the platform, summarizing the workplan for residential GEB modeling enhancements; 2) highlights significant advancements that have been achieved between 2018 and 2022, including stochastic residential occupancy modeling, flexible water heater modeling, detailed lithium-ion stationary battery modeling, and realistic residential HVAC modeling; and 3) outlines ongoing efforts and next steps toward the full vision for the platform.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings - Pacific Grove, California
Duration: 21 Aug 202226 Aug 2022


Conference2022 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
CityPacific Grove, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-83205


  • building energy modeling
  • demand flexbility
  • grid-interactive efficient buildings
  • net zero carbon homes
  • optimization


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