Commercial and Residential Hourly Load Data Now Available on OpenEI!

Load data

Image source: NREL


I am pleased to announce that simulated hourly residential and commercial building load datasets are now available on OpenEI. These datasets are available for all TMY3 locations in the United States. They contain hourly load profile data for 16 commercial building types (based off the DOE commercial reference building models) and residential buildings (based off the Building America House Simulation Protocols). In addition to various building categories, the simulations also consider variations in building construction due to local climate. The data can be accessed here:


You may browse and download individual load profiles (for example, hourly load profile for a large hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma). You can also download the entire dataset (beware: 4.8 GB zipped, 19 GB uncompressed!). Building load profiles are useful/essential for a variety of applications, including calculating utility bill savings for rooftop solar systems, demand response analyses, and residential/commercial renewable energy feasibility studies. A few examples of projects and publications that relied on earlier versions of the data include:


Impacts of Regional Electricity Prices and Building Type on the Economics of Commercial Photovoltaic Systems


Breakeven Prices for Photovoltaics on Supermarkets in the United States


Maximizing the Value of Photovoltaic Installations on Schools in California: Choosing the Best Electricity Rates


The Impacts of Commercial Electric Utility Rate Structure Elements on the Economics of Photovoltaic Systems


Special thanks goes to Nathan Clark, who has been working on these datasets for over a year! Nathan has also developed a System Advisor Model (SAM) program that allows users to automatically download appropriate load profiles directly into SAM for analysis and visualization. I’ve attached the program to this post, in case anyone would like to use it (you may need to download the latest SAM version to use it).  This program will also be included in the next public release of SAM (as a sample samUL file). 


Questions and comments are always welcome below!



Residential 8760hr load per TMY zone


I am wondering what kind of residential building the loads are calculated for in the commercial and residential load data.


Nr of rooms?


Thank you for your help!



Residential hourly load building characteristics

Here is a link to a pdf with details on the building characteristics for the homes:

Here's the Building America Climate Zone map used to assign building characteristics listed in the pdf to TMY3 locations:

Here's a link to the EnergyPlus documentation, which contains definitions of the output fields in the dataset columns:


asking for help about electrical load classification

Now I am perparing a paper about the electrical load classification. Where could I obtain the load dataset including the geology information? For example, the data like:

Load ((x,y), t , u)=load

Which the (x,y)is the site, the T is the time, and U is the utility of the load.



Whitefoxcy, see above

Whitefoxcy, I think my recent response above will give you the details you requested.


About Abbreviation of the database

Dear Ewilson,

I want to know what's the meanings of the following abbreviation of residential data?

1. TMY2, TMY3

2. "Base","High", "Low"

3. "Intl",‘AP“ of "USA_AK_Anchorage.Intl.AP.702730_TMY3_BASE"

4. "Electricity: Facility"; "Gas:Facility";"Heating:Electricity";"Heating:Gas";"Cooling:Electricity"; "HVACFan:Fans:Electricity";"Electricity:HVAC";"Fans:Electricity";"General:InteriorLights:Electricity ";"General:ExteriorLights:Electricity ";"Appl:InteriorEquipment:Electricity";"Misc:InteriorEquipment:Electricity";"Water Heater:WaterSystems:Gas"

Thans a lot for your effort!


About Abbreviation of the database

You should be able to do a web search for your answers to 1 and 3.

The answer to 2. can be found here:

Here is a link to a pdf with details on the building characteristics for the homes:

Here's the Building America Climate Zone map used to assign building characteristics listed in the pdf to TMY3 locations:

The answer to 4. can be found here:

Here's a link to the EnergyPlus documentation, which contains definitions of the output fields in the dataset columns:



HVAC specs for commercial buildings

I'm developing a cost/benefit analysis for thermal energy storage and need the specs for each of the 16 types of commercial buildings regarding the size and number of air conditioning units, so I can configure and price an appropriate thermal storage system. Is that data available and if so, where?


HVAC specs

HVAC system types can be found in this report: (also linked above)

To get HVAC system sizes, you'll have to look at the individual EnergyPlus files (.idf) or the summary spreadsheets since they vary by climate:

"Equipment sizing for all reference building models is determined from design day runs by EnergyPlus for each location with a sizing factor of 1.2. Nominal coefficient of performance (COP), energy efficiency ratio (EER), seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), and boiler and furnace efficiencies are taken from the appropriate energy standard based on equipment type and size."

EnergyPlus files and summary spreadsheets are here: (also linked above)

incorrect location data?

Has anyone noticed that some of the location data is incorrect? For example Dallas, TX Love Field - Commercial is actually Atlanta, GA data. Does anyone know why?


I believe that is just an

I believe that is just an error in the naming of files. You can see that the content of the files is different.


Validation of dataset


in the description of this dataset it states that these load profiles are simulated. Has these simulation results been validated with real load profiles? Also, has anyone carried out an analysis of this dataset, e.g. by building type/size/function and climate zone?

Thanks in advance for your help.


RE: Validation of dataset

Russmach32, Good question. I'm not sure if there has been any validation of these representative buildings against real load profiles. I would guess not, but it is possible. You might be able to find that information for the commerical buildings here:

I believe the commercial building load profiles have been used in the following studies, but please read them to verify:



Which version of the DOE Commercial Buildings profiles?


Great work! I am wondering which version of the DOE Commercial Buildings profiles are these based out of? I ask because I am trying to reconcile the numbers here with the annual load summary outputs from the DOE website. For example, for Large Hotel, Miami climate zone: the sum of the hourly load profile obtained from here (RefBldgLargeHotelNew2004_v1.3_7.1_1A_USA_FL_MIAMI.cvs) is 8,176MWh, whereas the total electricity energy use sumed up from the DOE file output ( is 4,115MWh.

Please let me know what I have missed in my interpretation of these numbers, of whether it is an issue of different data versions?

Thanks so much! Really appreciate the help.


How to tell the day of the week?

In the simulated Residential hourly load data profiles, how can one tell what day of the week it is? How does one distinguish between weekdays and weekends? Is there a method to compare hourly loads between weekdays and weekends from simulated data?