Is eQUEST or OpenStudio better for running energy models? That was the question from a student this week. Here’s how they framed it:

“I’m interested in gaining a qualification in building energy modeling, to perform my firm’s energy rating building code compliance and also to assist my colleagues in making better sustainable design decisions. Looking to use the best free energy rating software. From my understanding OpenStudio is the next generation of energy modeling software and updates to eQUEST are no longer supported.”

To answer this question, I went immediately to Chris Schaffner, who’s been teaching the Energy Modeling in eQUEST course for many years. Here’s what Chris said:

eQUEST is a freeware front end for DOE-2, OpenStudio is a freeware front end for Energy Plus. Both have had on and off support from various government entities over the years, as well as support and development from the modeler community. 

Energy Plus has more capabilities than DOE-2, but eQUEST is still more commonly used than any other software for building energy models.  Probably 80% or more of our models are in eQUEST, and our utility clients insist we use it because their engineers know it. I don’t think it is going anywhere.

So there are pros and cons to each. Isn’t that always the answer? Sorry:)