Key to ICF's building energy analytics capabilities is the Building Energy Analysis Console® energy simulation and analysis modeling platform. The Beacon story began in the mid-1990s, where it was created to provide policy support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Beacon is an energy simulation tool that uses state-of-the-art simulation engines DOE-2 and EnergyPlus for estimating building energy performance.
ICF combines its expertise in energy policy, building science, and industry knowledge with its unique analytical capabilities to help clients successfully develop policies and programs. ICF has extensive experience assessing energy performance and savings for technologies and buildings. This experience ranges from providing simple assessments, such as spreadsheet calculations, to very detailed energy modeling simulations for the residential, commercial, and industrial buildings sectors. ICF also has extensive experience in creating sophisticated and easy-to-use software tools for clients to predict the energy and demand savings potential of their programs.
Within the Beacon energy modeling platform, ICF has developed the following modules:
- Beacon Residential: to model new and existing residential buildings
- Beacon Commercial: to model new and existing commercial buildings
- Beacon Home Energy Advisor: to audit residential buildings
- Beacon Building Energy Advisor: to audit commercial buildings
- Beacon Predictive Savings Tools: to calculate energy savings for energy efficiency programs
These modules enable Beacon to model a wide range of residential and commercial building types to determine the impact of occupant behavior, building characteristics, or external influences such as weather conditions and utility costs. Beacon is capable of modeling individual buildings as well as conducting parametric analyses. For any given building, Beacon can estimate consumption and demand for every hour in the year. In addition, Beacon is optimized for policy-level analysis. It can efficiently handle multitudes of parametric runs. For example, ICF completed an analysis that included the evaluation of more than 1.5 million housing configurations generated over a two-week period. This detailed yet efficient capability provides unparalleled resolution to make informed programmatic and policy decisions.