Beat Blog

by Jen Singer, ICF on Apr 20, 2018
Poudre School District, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, partnered with ReNew Our Schools, a local non-profit organization to launch a month-long student competition to spur innovation and excitement around energy efficiency and sustainability. Sixteen of the district’s 50 schools competed in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Apr 18, 2018
In June, the Energy Department’s Better Plants program will participate in the Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC), a national conference that convenes technical experts, program staff, and energy managers from manufacturing companies to share best practices on industrial energy...
by Alison Berry, RE Tech Advisors on Apr 04, 2018
Energy service performance contracting (ESPC) is a key financing mechanism for organizations to realize the benefits of energy conservation measures while minimizing the cost burden. ESPCs are a great model for state and local governments because they: Provide upfront financing for energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 30, 2018
The Top 10 Solutions from March are here, featuring our 10 most-viewed solutions from this past month. We kick off April with some impressive Implementation Models, useful toolkits, and a brand-new Showcase Project! Covering sectors ranging from industrial plants to apparel companies to colleges,...
by Cindy Zhu, DOE Fellow on Mar 27, 2018
In February, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) hosted an invite-only roundtable with a diverse representation of commercial building operators working to support smart building technology implementation. Attendees represented the commercial real estate, education, retail, grocery,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 20, 2018
Join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Program for a 5-part series exploring the tools and resources of the Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Accelerator. Learn innovative best practices developed in collaboration with 25 state and local organizations to overcome common...
by BBC Multifamily Team on Mar 19, 2018
There are plenty of energy and water efficiency resources available to multifamily property owners, but locating the right one can be a challenge. The BBC Multifamily team has responded by creating a new Multifamily Energy and Water Efficiency Resources page on the HUD Exchange. The resources are...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 12, 2018
Better Buildings took it on the road to participate in the Energy Innovators Forum in Chicago in late February. Local energy efficiency practitioners gathered at the DIRTT Green Learning Center in downtown Chicago for some serious idea exchange on hot energy topics. The night kicked off with...
by Monica Kanojia, DOE on Mar 07, 2018
This blog originally appeared February 15, 2018, on the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy website. The Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) is accepting applications for its 2018 recognition cycle, which covers projects completed between January 2013 and April 2018. Commercial...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 28, 2018
When’s the last time you checked up on your neighbors at the Better Buildings Residential Network? There’s a lot happening in the residential space, and the BBRN team is committed to keeping the conversation going with regularly-scheduled forums about topics and trends in residential energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 27, 2018
The Top 10 Solutions for February are here, featuring our 10 most viewed solutions from this past month. We kick off March by introducing some solutions new to the Top 10, including projects for a variety of buildings! Covering sectors ranging from industrial plants to hotels to colleges, the Top...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 31, 2018
The first Top 10 Solutions for 2018 are here, featuring our 10 most viewed solutions from January. We kick off the year with a few fresh projects for a variety of buildings! With solutions from sectors ranging from data centers to hotels to commercial buildings – the Top 10 Solutions from January...
by John Jameson, ICF on Jan 31, 2018
Building on its earlier lead-by-example actions to power municipal facilities with renewable energy, the City of San Diego, CA is now adding 19 solar PV arrays across the City. The locations for the arrays include City libraries, police stations, community centers, and maintenance facilities,...
by Bruce Lung, Better Plants Program on Jan 25, 2018
Prevost, a subsidiary of Volvo Group that is the leading North American manufacturer of premium passenger buses, conducted its first ever energy treasure hunt at their South Plainfield, NJ, facility on January 14-15, 2018. Staff from Prevost were motivated after having participated in a Better...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 22, 2018
The Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings: Achieving Zero Energy (AEDG) (www.ashrae.org/freeaedg) was recently released to support elementary, middle, and high schools in their pursuit of zero energy performance goals for deep retrofits and new construction projects. The Guide was...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 12, 2018
The Top 10 Solutions from 2017 feature our most-viewed solutions for the year, including a wide range of efficiency practices to help your buildings. If lighting retrofits, building management software, submetering regulations, and creating high-performance buildings are your organization’s New...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 11, 2018
The focus of the Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign since its inception in 2013 has been encouraging high-efficiency RTU improvements in commercial buildings across the country through the replacement of old RTUs with high efficiency units, and the retrofit of existing RTUs with advanced...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Jan 10, 2018
In December, two Better Buildings Challenge Partners – Chicago and the District of Columbia– received recognition for their leadership in energy and sustainability. The City of Chicago earned the Cities4Energy award, one of the 2017 C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards, lauding excellence in...
by Better Buildings Multifamily Team on Jan 02, 2018
The Boston area is home to an impressive and active number of Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Partners. Hailing from the public, affordable, and market-rate housing domains, these partners have combined assets of more than 61 million square feet of developed space and approximately 80,000...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 19, 2017
On December 12, 2017, representatives from the Department of Energy traveled to Shari’s Café & Pies in Lynnwood, Washington and to King County International Airport to recognize Shari’s and King County for their energy efficiency leadership. Shari’s Café & Pies is the first full-service...
by Joan Glickman, DOE on Dec 19, 2017
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s)  Home Energy Score program (the Score) is celebrating a milestone this month: Since the program launch in 2012, over 500 individuals are qualified to offer the Score, a miles-per-gallon energy rating system for homes. These individuals – known as Home Energy...
by Monica Kanojia on Dec 07, 2017
The education sector, particularly K-12 schools, has seen a rapid rise in the uptake of zero energy design with many school districts committing to zero energy performance goals for deep retrofits and future new construction projects. Zero energy schools are extremely energy efficient buildings...
by Better Buildings Multifamily Team on Dec 05, 2017
Better Buildings Challenge partners have always been market-drivers in energy efficiency, and our Multifamily partners are no exception. Three partners – all Public Housing Authorities – joined the SEED initiative to open up opportunities for sustainability and energy efficiency in their...
by Better Buildings Multifamily Team on Dec 05, 2017
This Fall, the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA) launched the nation’s first housing authority-developed, owned, and operated 100% Low Income Community Solar Garden. The 2-megawatt, $3.8 million project will power affordable housing units in Denver and help low-income...
by Jen Singer, ICF on Dec 05, 2017
On October 26, DOE held a webinar to explore the issue of transportation fleet conversion for K-12 school districts. K-12 school sustainability conversations are growing beyond energy-efficient buildings to include fuel-efficient school transit systems. School bus fleet conversions have been...
by Cindy Zhu, DOE on Dec 05, 2017
Advocates for the development and investment of high-performing, energy efficient buildings understand the hurdles that come along with proving the business case to commercial real estate owners and investors. Fortunately, a strong and growing amount of research effectively shows the significant...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 01, 2017
The Top 10 Solutions from November feature a wide range of sustainability best practices. They include a unique water-saving Implementation Model from a leading university, a video showcasing opportunities for clean energy in commercial real estate properties, energy-saving contracts and more. If...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 01, 2017
Life Time, Healthy Way of Life, has significantly upgraded their RTU portfolio in recent years. With nearly 130 large, resort-like destinations, Life Time’s portfolio is growing quickly, with the majority of the healthy way of life company’s clubs now using high-efficiency units with cutting-edge...
by Sachin Nimbalkar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on Nov 03, 2017
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ISO 50001 experts, Bill Meffert, Randy Green, and Jason Clarke delivered a 50001 Ready In-Plant Training at AbbVie’s North Chicago, Illinois, facility on September 12 and 13. The training was also attended by Better Plants program representative Bruce Lung and ORNL’...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 02, 2017
The Top 10 Solutions from October will inspire you to immediately improve your energy-efficiency practices. The Top 10 Solutions from September kicked off our fall solutions with a bang, but October delivered some crucial building insights for the colder months ahead. This edition of the Top 10...
by Jen Singer, ICF on Nov 02, 2017
The state of Connecticut recently announced its first of several planned energy savings performance contracts (ESPC), a retrofit of CT Valley Hospital (CVH). The project, which is expected to achieve $31.9 million in guaranteed energy and maintenance savings over 15 years, will result in a 35...
by Jen Singer, ICF on Nov 02, 2017
Both New York and Rhode Island have enacted legislation prioritizing energy efficiency with measurable success. New York created a framework to set energy reduction targets and track improvements, while Rhode Island established a set of guiding principles to make energy efficiency more cost...
by Allison Nozza, JDM on Nov 02, 2017
The Beat Blog recently told you about Cleveland Clinic’s new case study on Green Revolving Funds for Healthcare projects. Inspired by the growing interest in this funding mechanism, Better Buildings has compiled this excellent resource, and many others, into the Green Revolving Funds Toolkit....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 31, 2017
A collaborative approach towards energy efficiency can often yield better results than individuals working alone. This month, employees from two Volvo Group plants participated in a DOE Energy Treasure Exchange through the Better Plants program to uncover energy efficiency opportunities in their...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 26, 2017
Last month, staff from DOE’s Better Plants program convened with partners in Atlanta, Georgia, for the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC), the largest energy conference and technology expo in the United States. WEEC brings together top experts from diverse fields to expand knowledge on...
by Daniel Robinson, DOE on Oct 26, 2017
Good news for owners and operators of small data centers in Maryland! This summer, Maryland’s Energy Administration (MEA) announced the Data Center Energy Efficiency Grant Program (DCEEG), which awards grants from $20,000 to $200,000 for eligible energy efficiency projects in commercial, state/...
by Joan Glickman on Oct 26, 2017
This October, the Energy Department’s Home Energy Score team, along with many of their partnering organizations, have been celebrating Energy Action Month. These organizations (including state energy offices, non-profits, and utilities) recognize that the Home Energy Score is an effective way to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 23, 2017
Welcome to the Better Buildings Challenge, Reno! The Biggest Little City in the World has set out to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by the year 2025 in municipal buildings and in participating commercial, multifamily, and industrial buildings across the City. The City of Reno...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 18, 2017
Recently we wrote about Better Buildings partners at the 2017 CleanMed conference who presented about different strategies and mechanisms for financing energy efficiency improvements at healthcare facilities. Cleveland Clinic spoke about their Green Revolving Fund, the largest of its kind for...
by Sormeh Konjkav, Waypoint Building Group on Oct 13, 2017
Dealing with rooftop units (RTUs) at the end of life can be a financial and environmental liability. In addition, it’s a challenge to keep up with changing regulations. On September 12, 2017, the Advanced RTU Campaign hosted an informational webinar about upcoming changes in RTU regulations, and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 12, 2017
When you have a portfolio of over 900 quick-service restaurants across the country, how do you keep track of, manage, and maintain all of your HVAC equipment? Frank Iona and his team at Arby’s were able to find a 21st century solution to that … an app! Starting in 2015, Arby’s developed a...
by Joan Glickman on Oct 11, 2017
In 2015, the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) partnered with the Energy Department to offer the Energy Department’s Home Energy Score through the state’s primary utilities: Eversource Energy and United Illuminating, a subsidiary of Avangrid, Inc. The state is a champion of the Home Energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 06, 2017
What happens when a service you need is taken off the market? You figure out how to get the job done yourself! In 2013, ENERGY STAR® retired their certification for medical office buildings, based on the lack of a good data set for scoring and comparison. Better Building Alliance partner...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 05, 2017
On September 20, 2017, representatives from the Department of Energy traveled to The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention Center to honor Las Vegas Sands Corp. for its energy-efficiency work at the largest hotel under one roof in the world. At these properties, Las Vegas Sands Corp...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 29, 2017
The Top 10 Solutions for September will show you tried-and-true energy solutions to help your energy efficiency goals fall into place! If you thought our Top 10 Solutions in August rounded out the summer well, the bonafide solutions from September will keep you intrigued for the new season. This...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 27, 2017
Imagine going back to school in very comfortable classrooms with high indoor air quality – that’s what’s happening for thousands of students in the Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) in San Bernardino County, California, thanks to a fleet of over 200 new rooftop units (RTUs) conditioning their...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 25, 2017
Far and away, the top-rated session at the 2017 Better Buildings Summit (based on your feedback) was Energy Efficient-SHE: Women’s Perspectives on Sustainability. Not only was the room at capacity – to the degree that in the back it was standing-room-only – but the conversation was full of...
by Cindy Zhu, U.S. Department of Energy on Sep 19, 2017
Missing links don’t have to be missed opportunities. Within the commercial real estate space, a significant opportunity exists to incorporate energy into real estate transactions during the mortgage underwriting process. The Commercial Mortgages project team, comprised of the Institute for Market...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 17, 2017
Most of us know Yoda as a cute, rumpled little geriatric urging all of us to be our best selves. But for the past year, 100 Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partners have participated in YoDa, HUD’s shorthand for the Year of Data drive. The acronym is appropriate in more ways than one, as...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 14, 2017
Found in 1976, DOE's Industrial Assessment Center program (IAC) helps small- to medium-sized American manufacturers save money and improve energy performance by providing no-cost audits of various manufacturing processes. Across 28 universities, engineering students work with experienced...

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