Better Buildings Alliance: Activities


Take advantage of green lease language

Demonstrate your commitment to superior energy performance by using green lease language to bridge the landlord-tenant divide on sustainability. This toolkit outlines the benefits of green leasing, discusses best practices for implementing green lease language, and gives information about the Green Lease Leaders program.

Save plug and process load (PPL) energy use by installing controllable power outlets

This specification provides detailed selection criteria for five major advanced power strips (APS) and sets standards for modeling APS.

Join the Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) to save on interior lighting energy costs

Building facility owners and managers can save energy and money by upgrading to high efficiency troffer lighting solutions. To find out if a troffer lighting upgrade (retrofit or new construction) makes sense for your building(s), join the Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) and check out the resources available.

Join the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign

The Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign offers free guidance and recognition to facility owners interested in energy efficient lighting solutions for their parking facilities.

Implement energy management information systems (EMIS) in your building portfolio

EMIS gives property owners and managers the ability to see their energy use and take action to reduce waste. This toolkit gives an introduction to EMIS.

Join the Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign (ARC)

The Advanced RTU Campaign (ARC) encourages commercial building owners and operators to replace their old rooftop units (RTUs) with more efficient units or to retrofit their RTUs with advanced controls.

Control plug and process loads (PPL) in your buildings

Numerous control strategies exist for reducing plug and process load (PPL) energy. Selecting the correct control strategy for particular devices, building types, and occupant needs can maximize energy savings.

Share your successful organizatonal strategies

Develop a Better Buildings implementation model to share your successful organizational strategy to achieve energy savings. Examples of existing implementation models can be found here. Email us at to learn more.

Share your successful efficiency projects

Develop a case study with DOE to highlight your energy efficiency project with documented savings of 20% or more. Examples of existing showcase projects can be found here. Email us at to get started. 

Save 15% – 45% on interior lighting energy costs by replacing fixtures with high-efficiency lighting troffers

This specification provides technical requirements high performance interior lighting troffers. 

Save 40% or more on energy costs by upgrading your parking lot lighting to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting sources

This specification outlines performance, warranty, and testing information expectations for products that outperform traditional high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting sources.

Save up to 70% on parking lot structure energy usage by replacing your parking lot structure lighting with high-efficiency sources and controls

Parking structures can gain higher-quality light that uses less energy and can be more easily controlled by replacing traditional high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting sources with fluorescent, induction, and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting sources.

Save approximately 40% on lighting costs by replacing your wall pack lighting fixtures

This technical specification prescribes equipment characteristics and application guidance including controls that support reduced energy use compared to common standard practice.

Achieve increased energy savings by installing efficient gas heaters

This specification provides a description of required performance characteristics resulting in increased energy savings for gas heaters in commercial buildings.

Save more than 40% on energy use by installing high-efficiency distribution transformers

This specification provides a description of required and recommended performance characteristics resulting in increased energy savings for Dry-LVDTs in commercial buildings.

Upgrade your commercial laundry facilities

This toolkit contains case studies on how wastewater recycling technology and ozone based laundry systems can help your organization find unrealized savings in energy and water, along with guidance on commercial heat pump water heaters.

Save 70% on water heating energy by using heat pump water heaters instead of electric storage water heaters

This specification provides a description of required and recommended performance characteristics resulting in increased energy savings for Commercial Storage Water Heaters.

Install ultra-low temperature freezers and save 66% over typical freezers

This energy only specification provides a description of required performance characteristics resulting in increased energy savings for ultra-low temperature freezers in laboratories.

Procure energy management and information systems to manage your building's energy use

This package of materials guides users through the selection and procurement of an Energy Management Information System (EMIS) or related building energy performance monitoring and diagnostic technology.

Incorporate solar PV on your commercial buildings

These guides and case studies explore the benefits, barriers, and strategies to installing solar on leased buildings, including commercial real estate.

Implement solar systems in your hotels

Solar PV has the potential to provide significant benefits to hotels by attracting guests and reducing operating costs. Use the Solar Decision Guide for Hospitality to learn more about the benefits of solar.

Incorporate solar PV on your healthcare facilities

Solar PV has the potential to provide significant benefits to hospitals and other healthcare facilities by reducing overall costs and improving patient experience. Use the Solar Decision Guide for Heathcare and relevant case studies to learn more about the benefits of solar.

Improve kitchen efficiency with demand control kitchen ventilation (DCKV)

This report provides guidance on Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) systems in commercial food service facilities.

Incorporate plug and process load (PPL) metering in healthcare

A report by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) lists healthcare facility end-use categories with the highest site energy use intensities. This end-use data can be used to inform decisions around prioritizing energy investments and action around metering, targeted energy audits, or equipment upgrades in healthcare facilities.

Use the new refrigeration system commissioning guide to help ensure the success of your refrigeration projects

With the support of the Refrigeration team, ASHRAE has developed a Refrigeration Commissioning Guide for Commercial and Industrial Systems. Intended for system owners, architects, design engineers, contractors, facility managers, maintenance service providers, and providers of commissioning services, the guide will take you through the commissioning process for each phase of your project, from design through construction, start-up, and first-year operation.

Explore energy management information systems (EMIS)

Learn best practices for Energy Management Systems (EMS) in the food service industry and other benefits to using an EMS in restaurant operation.

Add solar to your rooftop

When a commercial building owner first considers installing solar PV, the first questions they typically ask involve how the system will be mounted to their roof and its impact on the roof warranty. The Better Buildings Alliance’s Renewables Integration team put together a guide to help answer these common questions along with other resources in the toolkit.

Implement exterior lighting controls

This guide provides actionable guidance for the planning, application and specification of devices and systems used to control general lighting in building exteriors and parking structures. Implementation of this guidance can result in cost savings, extended product life, energy code compliance, and other benefits. 

Assess and reduce plug and process loads (PPL) in your building

Assessing your plug and process loads (PPLs) is the first step in creating a PPL energy reduction strategy. The following resources provide guidance on how to audit and benchmark the PPLs in your building (including data center loads), and how to develop a plan to control and manage their energy use.

Institutionalize policies and procedures for plug and process load (PPL) reduction

Institutionalizing policies and procedures to reduce plug and process load (PPL) energy is a crucial component to achieving PPL energy savings. By incorporating procurement language that specifies energy saving equipment, you can ensure that PPL energy is being managed effectively.

Incorporate efficient plug and process load (PPL) solutions into building designs

Integrating plug and process load (PPL) efficiency solutions into the design process for new construction projects, renovations, or capital improvement projects is an important approach to ensure higher energy savings in your building.

Reduce laboratory energy use

This toolkit provides guidance and strategies for reducing energy consumption in laboratories. The Department of Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) to coordinate activities around better energy management practices and energy-efficient technologies in laboratories.

Make the business case for energy information systems (EIS) to your financial team

The energy management information systems (EMIS) team worked with Better Buildings Alliance members, building owners, and service providers to develop a business case for energy information system (EIS) implementation as well as technology uses for maximum benefit.

Use the Solar Decision Guides to assess or implement a successful on-site solar PV project

Use the Solar Decision Guide for commercial real estate, hospitality, and healthcare buildings to assess or implement a successful on-site solar PV project. These guides can help companies determine if investing in solar makes financial sense and identify the regions that offer the most promising returns on solar investment.

Upgrade your parking lot or parking structure by upgrading to high-efficiency lighting

Parking lots, structures, and garages are typically lit by older high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting technology without any energy-saving controls. The latest high-efficiency alternatives with energy-saving controls—including light-emitting diode (LED), induction, and fluorescent technology options—can save building owners over 40 percent on their parking lot lighting bills.

Participate in a field test of Next Generation Luminaire connected lighting winners

If you think your organization might have suitable applications for connected lighting systems and is interested in exploring the possibility of serving as a host site for a demonstration project, please contact

Upgrade to high-efficiency troffer lighting

Potential savings from upgrading facility lighting to high-efficiency troffers range from 15-45 percent on a one-for-one basis and up to 75 percent with the use of controls. Learn how to take advantage of these savings.

Work with Better Buildings Challenge Financial Allies

Better Buildings Challenge Financial Allies provide funding for efficiency projects through various financing products and services. Download this spreadsheet to pinpoint the right Ally for your project.

Improve your space conditioning efficiency with the Advanced Rooftop Unit Specification

This specification provides a description of rooftop unit (RTU) efficiency and functionality characteristics that align with the goals of DOE’s Advanced RTU Campaign (ARC) for new or replacement installations.

Find financing for your project

A variety of barriers can prevent the funding of energy efficiency projects. This toolkit provides information and resources on traditional and specialized financing mechanisms to help overcome upfront costs and other financing barriers.

Develop a case study with the Better Buildings Alliance

Is your organization impacting energy use in a new or innovative way? We'd like to know about it! Contact your Better Buildiings account manager or send a note to and we'll be in touch.


Participate in critical research to assess connections between high performance buildings and financial performance

DOE is supporting research that explores the links between sustainability, building performance, and financial benefits through development of a controlled access, non-commercialized “data consortium” where multiple data contributors provide access to proprietary data sources – ranging from investment, financial, energy, and environmental performance – and a central coordinator approves research proposals and facilitates data access.  To securely share building performance data or request access to data for research purposes, contact Cindy Zhu at

Join the Smart Energy Analytics (SEA) Campaign

Earn recognition for your organization's effective use of Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS) to reduce energy use.

Adopt high-performance appraisal practices in your building portfolio

This toolkit consists of resources, case studies, and documents to help industry practitioners understand the challenges of incorporating energy efficiency into building valuation and develop and implement intervention strategies that improve best practices, promote the exchange of information, and build demand for high performance valuation.

Engage your utility on whole building energy data

Energy benchmarking helps building owners manage energy consumption and reduce wasted energy, but it requires whole-building energy data. Many owners cannot access that information for tenant-occupied spaces within their buildings. This toolkit provides guidance on how to work with the utilities, many of which are now able to aggregate the total energy usage within a building and send that information electronically to building owners.

Host a DOE technology demonstration in your building

Each year, DOE conducts demonstrations of new and promising energy efficiency technologies and develops case studies to highlight real performance data. Learn how you can participate!

Upgrade or replace your rooftop units (RTUs) and save 30-50%

Older, inefficient commercial rooftop unit (RTU) air conditioning systems are common and can waste from $1,000 to $3,700 per unit annually, depending on the building size and type. By replacing or retrofitting them, you can save money, improve your energy efficiency, make your building more comfortable, and help the environment.

Install heat pump water heaters and reduce water heating energy up to 70% using the commercial heat pump water heater specification

The Food Service team developed a Commercial Heat Pump Water Heater Specification that can be used to reduce water heating energy by 70%.

Retrofit existing open refrigerated display cases

The resources in this toolkit showcase the positive energy impacts of open case retrofits.

Expand appraiser expertise

Attend or host a training for in-house commercial appraisers to increase awareness on appraising green or high performing buildings. DOE supported development of the Energy Matters! course to expand appraiser expertise in considering the energy characteristics of buildings during valuation. For more information on in-person or online versions contact

Expand broker expertise

Attend or host a training for commercial brokers on communicating the value of energy efficiency during the leasing process. DOE supported development of the course to expand broker expertise on how to drive value for their clients from energy efficiency and sustainability improvements. For more information contact

Discover High Impact Technologies

High impact technologies (HITs) are cost-effective, underutilized energy-efficient building technologies. Through the High Impact Technology Catalyst program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) identifies HITS and guides them through their early market introduction phases, ultimately deploying them to the broader market through partnerships with the commercial buildings industry.