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, 30 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.
Team up with DOE’s exceptional network of staff and technical experts to determine energy savings goals, develop innovative cost effective energy solutions, and deploy efficient technologies and market practices.
To date, Better Buildings partners have saved nearly 1.4 quadrillion Btus, achieving more than $8 billion in energy and cost savings.
Slide decks from the 2019 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit sessions are now available to download and share.
Higher Education Energy Planning: Review and Summary Briefing DocumentBetter Buildings conducted a review of 45 Campus Energy Master Plans, Sustainability Master Plans, and Climate Action Plans developed between 2008-2018 to identify common features and best practices.
Reduce laboratory energy use ToolkitsThis toolkit provides guidance and strategies for reducing energy consumption in laboratories. DOE and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) have agreed to coordinate activities around better energy management practices and energy-efficient technologies in laboratories.
Net Zero Energy RFQ Solutions at a GlanceModel RFQ for a proposed net zero energy workforce development & training center at Community College of Allegheny County (PA).
Zero Energy Ready Student Pavilion Showcase ProjectDue to the location and student-centric focus, the Student Pavilion was selected to become the first Net Zero Energy building at ASU. The pavilion provides an opportunity to demonstrate and teach Net Zero Energy and Zero Waste practices.
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.
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.
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:
- Addressing skilled labor gaps and workforce challenges
- Student engagement in energy measurement and tracking
- Laboratory efficiency
Steering Committee Members
- Kathia Benitez, Northwestern University (Chair)
- Christopher Fox, Emory University
- Moira Hafer, Stanford University
- Andrea Trimble, University of Virginia
- Gregory Farley, Washington College
- Elaine Sadowski, Community College of Allegheny County
- Phil Valko, Washington University in St. Louis
- Robert Vandling, Arizona State University
- Steve Glazner, APPA - Leadership in Educational Facilities