Building energy consumption analysis is a difficult task because it depends on the characteristics and interaction among the building, the heating/cooling system, and the surroundings (weather). Since building energy profiles are usually required on an hourly basis, which often is not available for existing buildings, the hourly energy consumption must be estimated or predicted. The dynamic behavior of the weather conditions and building operation makes computer simulations a good practice for reliable solutions. However, energy building computer simulations require considerable amount of detailed input data and user time, which is a drawback for a cost-effective solution. Therefore, simplified models based on statistics or a combination of statistics and simulations may be a better solution with reasonable uncertainty. This paper presents the tool Small Office Hourly Energy Consumption Estimator (SOHECE). The tool estimates hourly building energy consumption for small office buildings. The proposed tool has been developed in Microsoft Excel and it uses simulation data from EnergyPlus benchmark models to convert monthly energy consumption from utility bills into hourly energy consumption. Since benchmark models were developed by the U.S. government to provide a consistent baseline of comparison, energy consumption data from simulations of the benchmark models are considered reasonable representations of energy consumption profiles. Results account for baseline and variable energy consumption for electricity and fuel. The site weather conditions, for which the energy consumption is estimated, are considered using the sixteen climate zones of the U.S. benchmark models. The tool has been applied to a hypothetical building placed in Meridian, MS, and errors obtained for the estimated hourly energy consumption are mainly lower than ten percent.

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