A method is presented to determine energy performance of residential buildings. The method is based on an extended application of the degree-days basis to determine building thermal performance. The overall heat transfer coefficient and radiation shading factors are extracted from nightime and daytime readings of indoor and outdoor temperatures, solar radiation, and total energy usage of the building. It is shown that the overall heat transfer coefficient (thermal response) UA of the building is linear. Radiation shading factors can be represented as nonlinear functions of time. Application of the method to estimate real-time energy performance and carbon offsets of high performance buildings is discussed. The performance of the building is compared with an equivalent building with standard physical and thermal characteristics.

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