Running simulations in the early stages of your design process provides feedback that can inform many of your decisions. These decisions can greatly affect the way your building performs: How will my building's performance change if I rotate it by 30 degrees on the site? What if I add another set of windows on the south elevation? Third-party energy analysis applications can help you answer these questions, and the ones listed below have developed plugins for Google SketchUp.
EnergyPlus Energy Design Plugin
EnergyPlus (which is available for Windows users) is a building energy simulation software created and maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy. It models heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation and other energy flows in buildings.
The EnergyPlus Energy Design Plugin, developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab, adds the building energy simulation capabilities of EnergyPlus to the SketchUp environment. It allows you to view and edit EnergyPlus input files within SketchUp, adding as much extra detail as you need to the zones and surfaces. It also allows users to launch EnergyPlus simulations and view the results from within SketchUp. Learn more about this plugin.
Greenspace Research's Demeter Plugin
Demeter (which is available for Windows and Mac users) is a plugin for SketchUp developed by Greenspace Research, a commercial division of Lews Castle College in Scotland. The plugin allows you to perform an energy analysis on a SketchUp design by adding attributes to the geometry and then connecting it to Green Building Studio's web service, or other analysis applications that import gbXML. With the plugin, SketchUp is able to both import and export gbXML files. Learn more about this plugin.