New to CalBEM’s Working Groups? Explore some quick context or join a group.

Spring 2023 Activities

Updated each Spring and Fall


Group 1: Creating a Streamlined BEM Process

Working Group 1 had a great start in 2023 with the January webinar which covered a new project funding proposal idea: “3rd Party Energy Code Verification: Market Characterization” spearheaded by Sally Blair of NORESCO. Since the January webinar, this project idea has transformed into a proposal that was submitted to the CalBEM Steering Committee and was approved. The Committee is currently identifying the right funding pathway for this project.

In mid-May, the group also led a productive Spring Meeting, which covered project updates and a thought-provoking presentation by Co-Chair Neal Kruis on machine readable rulesets. If you have missed recent meetings, slides can be found in the CalBEM Collaborative Efforts SharePoint here.*

The Prototype Unification Technical Advisory Group led by Bryan Boyce (Energy Solutions) continues to meet, advancing its goal to develop a single set of prototypes for use by all California state agencies and other public research/policy purposes. Recently they completed a building stock assessment for low and high rise multifamily buildings, and will move to all building types soon.

The “PRM Case Studies by Practitioners” project discussed by the group last year, led by Greg Collins and Panos Bakos, was approved by the Committee in October 2022 and plans to kick-off this summer.

The group plans to hold a summer meeting in July or August. For further updates, sign up for the WG1 mailing list.

Group 2: Developing BEM Education and Resources

Following discussions at the November 2022 CalBEM Symposium, the group 2 Co-Chairs led a January webinar to discuss “Do we need another BEM forum?” Representatives from prominent BEM forums presented a brief background and goals of their forum, which included Onebuilding, CABEC Share Source, the (now closed) EnergyPro Yahoo Group, Q&Ace, and Unmet Hours. The group voted unanimously that yes, existing forums can meet the needs of energy modelers, and attendees were invited to the BEM Forum sub-group. This sub-group met in March to identify specific ways that forums could be more widely used to assist modelers. The sub-group identified that the primary issue is lack of awareness of existing forums. To address this need, the sub-group created the “CalBEM Modeling Help and Education Guide”, which was published on the CalBEM website in late May. The Co-Chairs also plan to reach out to key modelers in the industry and encourage them to engage with key BEM forums, such as Unmet Hours.

Working Group 2 also led an engaging Spring Meeting in mid-may which included an update on existing project proposals and a brainstorming session for new project ideas. One update included SEI’s proposal for a “BEM Community of Practice” this project has been approved by the Steering Committee and is currently under consideration for funding. If you have missed recent meetings, slides can be found in the CalBEM Collaborative Efforts SharePoint here.*

The group plans to hold a summer meeting in July or August. For further updates, sign up for the WG2 mailing list.

Group 3: Advancing BEM Capabilities and Metrics

Working Group 3 has kicked off 2023 by pushing forward project ideas developed at the November 2022 symposium. The January webinar included discussions on an ACM clean-up recommendations project, and a GitHub Feedback Forum on CBECC software. Following the webinar, the Co-Chairs identified that TRC is interested in taking on the ACM clean-up project; TRC plans to submit a project proposal to the Steering Committee.

At the Group 3 Spring Meeting in late May, the Co-Chairs held an important update from the CEC Software team on their current modeling priorities. The Co-Chairs also gauged interest in Group 3 participants providing feedback to CASE measures that involve modeling updates. Most attendees were interested, so the Co-Chairs will further develop activity on this front.

If you have missed recent meetings, slides can be found in the CalBEM Collaborative Efforts SharePoint here.*

The group plans to hold a summer meeting in July or August. For further updates, sign up for the WG3 mailing list.

* Working Group members can email to gain access.

Interested in joining any of these Working Group meetings? CalBEM participants can view the live schedule and copy events to your own calendar. Note that if you haven’t directly received email notifications for these meetings, it means you aren’t signed up to receive updates for the Working Group. You can still join any meeting you are interested in from the calendar, but you’ll only be notified when events are added to your Working Group if you are signed up below.

Want to delve deeper? Check out past updates and public meeting notes. Notes from recent Working Group meetings can be viewed by CalBEM participants in the CalBEM Collaborative Efforts Notebook. If you are an active CalBEM participant and do not have access to these notes, please email Carrie Hillen ( for access.

What are Working Groups?

A Working Group is a team of CalBEM participants dedicated to furthering one of CalBEM’s core goals. During CalBEM events they discuss potential solutions (imagined or inspired by solutions seen in other jurisdictions) to issues identified in the sub-topics explained below. In-between CalBEM events, they work to finalize and execute on projects inspired by these events.

Each Working Group has two designated co-chairs selected based on their experience and involvement related to the Working Group sub-topics. Prior to each event, these individuals work with the host (SCE) and facilitators (2050 Partners and Red Car Analytics) to structure the Working Group breakout sessions (e.g., sub-agenda, presentations, handouts, activities, etc.).

The Working Group sub-topics were chosen with the following criteria in mind:

  • Responsive to feedback from BEM stakeholders,
  • Addresses issues that are not being addressed in another forum, or adds value to an existing process but is not duplicative, and
  • Focuses on issues for which the Working Groups can reasonably develop useful draft Action Plans within a two-day event.

The Working Groups are organized around three core CalBEM goals:

Creating a Streamlined Process for Building Simulation


This group focuses on opportunities to streamline compliance processes through software enhancements, new innovative methods in validation or types of performance compliance, compliance metrics, and software application interoperability.

Co-Chairs: Supriya Goel (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), Neal Kruis (Big Ladder Software), and Dimitri Contoyannis (Model Efficiency)

Key Sub-topics:

    1. Future of Public and Private Code Compliance Software – What strategies could CA explore to expand compliance software to be more accessible, easier to use, and easier to develop by the market? Shaping a Ruleset Validation Standard is one example related to the idea of moving regulatory bodies out of the role of creating software and yet maintaining a level of control and calculation quality.
    2. National Alignment – What efforts are being undertaken by national code agencies or green building rating groups to streamline energy modeling compliance and new performance pathways for users? What alternate strategies should CA agencies for codes, programs, or local incentives consider which may be currently implemented or being piloted elsewhere?
    3. Software Interoperability and New Developments – With energy modeling tools improving and expanding to now include whole eco-systems of software, what needs exist for interoperability? Where the need exists today for multiple models, how could interoperability be enhanced to streamline or change the current dilemma of non-interoperability?

Educating BEM Users and Developing Resources

Group 2 focuses on enhancing resources for the energy modeling community of technical users and agencies, including enhancing shared resources, developing robust methods and documentation for compliance with codes, incentives, and state programs, and prioritizing the most educational items.

Co-chairs: Erik Kolderup (Kolderup Consulting) and Brian Selby (Selby Energy)

Key Sub-topics:

    1. Creating a Robust Reporting Process – In both code compliance and in green building standards, review of results and documentation of calculations is necessary. What best practices exist for enhancing compliance of models that are created, such as peer review and automated checks of modeling files? For documentation itself, where could enhancements or simplifications be made in state documents for codes and program administrators’ documents for incentives and where are examples for such available in the industry, be it states or through private rating systems such as LEED?
    2. Educating a Larger Workforce & Advancing Skills – As energy modeling and software inform more elements of the built environment, what ways can the BEM community further attract talent and teach the necessary skills to support this expanding scope? What gaps exist today? What are the priorities for enhancing workforce education? What educational resources could be developed to enhance the general knowledge for properly modeling in specific software or in general?

Advancing BEM Simulation Capabilities, Accuracy, & Metrics


CalBEM Group 3 focuses on increasing the usability, accuracy, and capabilities of California building energy modeling documentation, software, and technologies. Topic areas include energy modeling software for Title 24, Part 6 and for statewide programs. Efforts focus on short-term enhancements, encompassing the current or near-term energy code software, or long-term over the upcoming one to two code cycles.  

Co-chairs: Neil Bulger (A2 Efficiency) and Haile Bucaneg (California Energy Commission), with support from Michael Sawford (A2 Efficiency)

Key Sub-topics:

  1. Advancing Software Usability and Accuracy – Through assessment and testing of Title 24 code, modeling methods, and new software updates impacting the current and next one to two code cycles. 
  2. Advancing Methods and Capabilities of Compliance and Program Software in the Market – through enhancing interactions between programs and compliance, improving efficiency measures that are allowed in compliance software to streamline the use in incentive programs (reduce workarounds for clean compliance documentation). 
  3. Advancing the Usability of Documentation and Rulesets – Through assessment and review of the Title 24 reference manuals align documentation with original intent improving usefulness to practitioners and software developers. What adjustments should be made to improve the usability of existing documentation and technical educational materials?  


Just want occasional updates and news? You can also sign up for general interest emails here.

What are Action Plans?

During CalBEM events, the Working Groups prioritize sub-topics and then refine and develop problem statements, goals, and actions for the prioritized sub-topics. These materials form the backbone of robust Action Plans.

The Action Plan structure is organized around the problem statements. Each problem statement will have one or more actions to be taken that create movement towards resolution of the stated problem. Each action includes priority, status, lead stakeholders, other stakeholders, key barriers, schedules and notes.

Meetings and Webinars

After the completion of the annual CalBEM event, the Working Groups develop projects based on the issues identified in the Action Plans and continue to support a developed and functional building energy modeling ecosystem in California. Visit the CalBEM events calendar here.