Energy Systems Laboratory
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The Energy Systems Laboratory has a group dedicated to building energy modeling, building energy efficiency, and emissions reductions. The majority of this work is funded via the State of Texas as described below. However, some work is conducted at a federal level.

Texas Work

In 2001, the 77th Legislature passed Senate Bill 5 (SB5) defining the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP).

TERP Objectives
  • Ensure that air in Texas meets the Federal Clean Air Act requirements (US EPA Page)
  • Reduce Nitrous Oxides (aka NOx) emissions in non-attainment and near-non-attainment counties through mandatory and voluntary programs, including the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs (EE/RE)

TERP Elements
  • A diesel emissions reduction incentive program
  • A motor vehicle purchase or lease incentive program
  • A new technology research and development program
  • An energy efficiency grant program
  • A statewide Texas Building Energy Performance Standard (TBEPS) which defines the building energy code for all residential and commercial buildings
  • A goal of 5% per year reduction in electrical consumption for facilities of political subdivisions in non-attainment and near-non-attainment counties from 2002 through 2008
ESL's TERP Responsibilities
  • Assist communities to evaluate and quantify above code amendments to the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which define the minimum energy efficiency standards for the State of Texas.
  • Train builders, code inspectors, code officials, manufacturers, homeowners and other interested groups on how to cost effectively implement the energy efficiency standards of the codes.
  • Develop a self-certification form for builders outside of municipalities.
  • Evaluate Home Energy Rating Software (HERS) packages. The Laboratory will evaluate HERS offerings and assist in defining changes required for the State of Texas.
  • Report annually to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) the energy savings (and resultant emissions reduction) from implementation of building energy codes and to identify the municipalities and counties whose codes are more or less stringent than the un-amended code.
  • Participate in an annual evaluation by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) of the emission reductions resulting from utility-sponsored programs established under Senate Bill 5 and utility-sponsored programs established under the electric utility restructuring act (Section 39.905 Utilities Code)

Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) Conference
CATEE serves as a valuable forum to help communities improve decisions that determine the energy and water intensity of the built environment and reduce related emissions. Goals of the conference:
  • Share information on how to implement state and local energy efficiency policies.
  • Raise awareness of the impacts of the policies.
  • Develop and move toward new policy goals.
  • Highlight and celebrate successful policies and best practices being implemented to achieve emissions reduction through energy efficiency in the built environment.

For more information on the CATEE Conference, please visit

See these pages for more information:

National Work

National Center of Excellence on Displaced Emission Reductions (CEDER)
The US EPA has established a National Center of Excellence on Displaced Emission Reductions (CEDER) at the Energy Systems Laboratory to research and gather the state-of-the-art on air pollution quantification techniques for Energy Efficiency / Renewable Energy (EE/RE) projects measures.

See these pages for more information: