Deep Energy Retrofit Performance Metric Comparison: Eight California Case Studies

Publication Type




In this paper we will present the results of monitored annual energy use data from eight residential Deep Energy Retrofit (DER) case studies using a variety of performance metrics. For each home, the details of the retrofits were analyzed, diagnostic tests to characterize the home were performed and the homes were monitored for total and individual end-use energy consumption for approximately one year. Annual performance in site and source energy, as well as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions were determined on a per house, per person and per square foot basis to examine the sensitivity to these different metrics. All eight DERs showed consistent success in achieving substantial site energy and CO2e reductions, but some projects achieved very little, if any source energy reduction. This problem emerged in those homes that switched from natural gas to electricity for heating and hot water, resulting in energy consumption dominated by electricity use. This demonstrates the crucial importance of selecting an appropriate metric to be used in guiding retrofit decisions. Also, due to the dynamic nature of DERs, with changes in occupancy, size, layout, and comfort, several performance metrics might be necessary to understand a project’s success.

Year of Publication



Research Areas

Related Files