The higher education sector spends over $6 billion on annual energy costs and totals about 5 billion square feet of floorspace. Through the Better Buildings Alliance higher education group, 29 colleges and universities representing over 300 million square feet of space are sharing best practices and engaging with technical experts to advance their energy savings goals.
View select opportunities available to Alliance partners. Sign up for a technology campaign, engage in peer-exchange call with experts, or adopt another partner's proven solution.
Through the Better Buildings Alliance, over 200 public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency.
More than 345 leading public and private sector organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge are saving 240 trillion Btus and an estimated $1.9 billion in cumulative energy and cost savings.
Tying Energy Costs to Building Occupants Implementation ModelUC Berkeley's Energy Management Initiative (EMI) targets building occupants through building surveys and energy dashboards, and allocates energy cost responsibility to individual campus operating units to achieve savings of $6.5 million, 58.7 million kWh and 893,000 therms in just three years.
Delta Force Implementation ModelU. Va. implemented an internal, cross-functional retro-commissioning team with a cost-recovery element akin to a revolving loan fund, so future projects can be paid for with metered savings from past and future projects.
Developing An Integrated “Smart Lab” Program Implementation ModelUC Irvine's integrated “Smart Lab” program improves lab energy efficiency through an array of control and sensor technologies.
Empowering Managers to Help Teams Meet Big Goals Implementation ModelUC Irvine's empirically derived technical and behavioral performance improvement program supports risk-taking and questions status-quo practices to produce exceptional results across the board.
Leverage Student-Faculty Research Implementation ModelAllegheny College's student-faculty research team predicts the financial benefits of energy-saving options for campus construction and renovations.
Comprehensive Occupant Engagement Program Implementation ModelsustainNU is Northwestern University's comprehensive occupant engagement program that encourages sustainable behavior, builds leadership capacity, and removes barriers to sustainable practices by leveraging certification programs, social media, outreach events, and friendly competition.
ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard
A proven approach for U.S. industrial and commercial facilities to continually improve energy performance. This powerful new standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides an internationally recognized framework for organizations to voluntarily implement an energy management system.
U.S. EPA Guidelines for Energy Management
A proven strategy for energy management developed by the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR program.
Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS)
A framework developed by AASHE for measuring and reporting an institution’s overall sustainability performance.
Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS)
Developed by the Sustainable Endowments Institute to help institutions track, manage, and share performance data for energy efficiency projects funded under a green revolving fund. The tool is available only to members of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge.
Track, analyze, and reduce your higher education campus' carbon emissions through this carbon accounting platform.
Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
A comprehensive database of incentives, rebates and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States.
Show Me the Money
A report by the Environmental Defense Fund and their partners that examines barriers to energy efficiency financing and strategies to overcome them. Higher education is one of several sectors discussed in the report.
Join the Billion Dollar Green Challenge
The Billion Dollar Green Challenge encourages colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in self-managed green revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements.
Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation and Management
A white paper that helps colleges and universities build the business case for energy efficiency by establishing a green revolving fund.
Green Revolving Funds Case Studies
Case Studies provide in-depth and high-quality examples of how GRFs have successfully been structured.
Webinar: Implementation Strategies for Campus Green Revolving Funds
This webinar provides a roadmap to implementing and managing a successful green revolving fund to finance energy efficiency and sustainability projects.
Greening the Bottom Line
A report summarizing and analyzing trends in green revolving fund adoption and performance among colleges and universities.
The Better Buildings Alliance Higher Education Steering Committee helps to set priorities for Alliance work in the sector each year. This year, sector activities focus on the following priorities:
- Improving Facilities Benchmarking
- Engaging Occupants through Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS)
- Energy Efficiency in Climate Action Plan Acceleration
Steering Committee Members
- Joan Kowal, Emory University (Co-Chair)
- John D'Angelo, Northwestern University (Co-Chair)
- Kathia Benitez, Northwestern University
- John Bernhards, APPA - Leadership in Educational Facilities
- Emily Flynn, Sustainable Endowments Institute
- Moira Hafer, Stanford University
- William Lakos, Michigan State University
- Kathy Ann Ramirez Aguilar, University of Colorado Boulder
- Andrea Trimble, University of Virginia
- Gregg Versonder, Stevens Institute of Technology
- Phil Wirdzek, I2SL International Institute for Sustainable Labarotories