Guide Specifications: An Overlooked Avenue for Promoting Building Energy Efficiency
Guide specifications, the templates from which individual building project specifications are based, can be written to require high-efficiency products or systems. This paper documents a few selected instances where federal, state, or commercial guide specifications have incorporated such provisions, resulting in estimated annual savings in 2010 of over $30 million. The argument is made that promoting higher efficiency through guide specifications has several advantages over other avenues, including the improvement of building codes. The paper calls for increased attention to this overlooked opportunity from the energy policy community.