About Specification Development

Commercial Building Energy Alliance (CBEA) Project Teams develop specifications that you can customize and use to obtain quotes for high-efficiency products and services. Collective CBEA support of these product and performance specifications demonstrates a market need to manufacturers and leads to greater product availability, higher quality, and more competitive pricing.

The Federal Energy Management Program and Energy Star also offer useful procurement resources for many products not covered here.

Available Technology Specifications

The following technology specifications are available:

  • High Performance Rooftop Unit Challenge

    Rooftop units (RTUs) are used in nearly half of all cooling conditioned commercial floor space in the United States. RTUs built according to the specification are expected to reduce energy use by as much as 50% compared to the current ASHRAE 90.1 standard, depending on location and facility type. Nationwide, if all 10-20 ton commercial units were replaced with units built to this specification, businesses would save about $1 billion each year in energy costs. DOE also developed an RTU Comparison Calculator so you can easily compare the energy and financial benefits of high-efficiency units to standard equipment. Questions on this specification should be sent to CBEA@ee.doe.gov. Learn more about the High Performance Rooftop Unit Challenge.

  • CBEA LED Site (Parking Lot) Lighting Specification

    Most parking lots are illuminated by older high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting technology without any energy-saving controls. New light-emitting diode (LED) technology with controls can cut parking lot lighting energy bills by 40% or more while delivering additional benefits including long life, reduced maintenance costs, and improved lighting uniformity. Nationwide, if all parking lots switched to high-efficiency lighting that meets the requirements of the specification, we could save an estimated 40 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually. Questions on this specification should be sent to CBEA@pnnl.gov. Learn more about the LED parking lot lighting specification.

  • CBEA High-Efficiency Parking Structure Lighting Specification

    Parking structures or garages are often lighted by older HID lighting technology without any energy-saving controls. The latest high-efficiency alternatives with energy-saving controls—including fluorescent, induction, and LED options—can save building owners over 40% on their parking lot lighting bills compared to typical code while delivering additional benefits, like better-lighted spaces. Additional energy savings are possible from the use of lighting controls and daylighting. Nationwide, if all parking structures switched today to high-efficiency lighting that met the requirements of the specification, businesses could save an estimated 36 TWh annually. Questions on this specification should be sent to CBEA@pnnl.gov. Learn more about the parking structure lighting specification.

  • CBEA LED Refrigerated Display Case Lighting Specification

    The Refrigerated Display Case specification delivers approximately 50% energy savings compared to a typical display case lighting code. If all retail refrigerated display cases switched to LED systems today, 2.1 TWh of electricity could be saved annually. Questions on this specification should be sent to CBEA@pnnl.gov. Learn more about the LED refrigerated case lighting specification.

  • CBEA High-Efficiency Troffer (1'x4', 2'x2', 2'x4') Lighting Specification

    Fifty percent of all commercial fluorescent lighting fixtures are recessed troffers in 1'x4', 2'x2', 2'x4' configurations, in operation for more than 10 hours a day on average and collectively consuming more than 87 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. Building owners who use the high-efficiency troffer specification can save 15–45% on their lighting energy costs on a one-for-one basis and up to 75% with the use of controls. If all troffers were replaced to CBEA specification compliance troffers, 26 TWh of electricity could be saved annually. Questions on this specification should be sent to CBEA@pnnl.gov. Learn more about the troffer lighting specification.

Under Development

DOE is currently accepting feedback on the following draft specifications. Send questions and comments to CBEA@ee.doe.gov.

  • Commercial Heat Pump Water Heater Specification (Review Version)

    The water heater specification can reduce water heating energy use by 70% compared to traditional electric storage water heaters.

  • Gas Unit Heater Specification (Review Version)

    Gas unit heaters built according to the specification can reduce heating energy use by over 10%, compared to typical units.

  • Laboratory Fume Hood Specification (Review Version)

    A single fume hood in a typical lab can use more than 10,000 kWh per year, Replacing it with a fume hood that meets the specification could save up to 50,000 kWh of energy and $5,000 over 5 years, while also reducing the space conditioning energy loads.

  • Low Voltage Distribution Transformer Specification (Review Version)

    Distribution transformers are an often-overlooked building energy load, but they can be responsible for a significant amount of energy use: collectively estimated to consume over 20 TWh per year. The distribution transformer specification can reduce energy use by over 15% compared to typical transformers. In addition, the specification acknowledges that many commercial buildings have low loading profiles and provides an optional design path to save additional energy in these buildings.

  • Ultra-low Temperature Laboratory Freezer Specification (Review Version)

    A typical ultra-low temperature laboratory freezer can use up to 20 kWh of electricity per day—as much as a small house! Replacing it with a unit that meets the specification could save up to 3,000 kWh per year, saving as much as $1,500 over 5 years.