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October Top 10 Solutions

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 03, 2022
October Top 10

The top 10 most-viewed resources on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past month include toolkits on strategies for low carbon technologies, clean energy access in low-income communities, project financing, and more. This list also features solutions from partners Celanese, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Zebra Technologies. Dig into this month’s list!


1. Showcase Project: Celanese Improves Plant Energy Performance with Boiler Upgrade

Better Plants Challenge partner Celanese reduced annual energy costs by nearly 20% after completing a $160 million boiler replacement project at its plant in Narrows, Virginia. The project replaced coal-fired boilers with natural gas-fired boilers, substantially improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste. Read more.


2. Green Revolving Funds Toolkit

This collection of solutions provides guidance on establishing a green revolving fund to overcome a lack of dedicated capital. A green revolving fund is an internal capital pool dedicated to funding energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability projects that generate cost savings. A portion of those savings is then used to replenish the fund, establishing an ongoing funding vehicle to help drive energy efficiency and sustainability investment over time. Read more.


3. Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Toolkit

This collection of resources enables state and local communities to benefit from the experience of partners who have successfully established and implemented performance contracting. It includes best practices and innovative approaches that states, cities, and K-12 schools have used. Users can easily find the information they need at each stage of their ESPC decision-making process. Read more.


4. Low Carbon Technology Strategies Toolkit

To help building owners and operators reduce carbon emissions, this toolkit offers guidance on how to achieve deep carbon reductions in existing buildings with a primary focus on retrofits and operational strategies. Low carbon technology strategies are  currently available for 10 building types, with a supplement for commercial kitchen equipment. Recommendations are grouped by technology, with actions categorized as either simple, intermediate, or advanced. Read more.


5. High-Efficiency RTU Replacement Toolkit

This toolkit helps HVAC contractors and service companies work with their customers through a step-by-step process of evaluating and managing their inventory of rooftop units (RTUs) and how to evaluate the business case for high-efficiency replacements. From an incentives database to a comparison calculator, the toolkit provides everything needed to make an informed decision regarding RTU replacements. Read more.


6. Zebra Technologies' Climate-Related Physical Risk Characterization and Analysis

In collaboration with DOE’s National Labs, Better Plants and Better Climate Challenge partner Zebra Technologies conducted climate scenario analysis using guidance from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine climate risks under the best- and worst-case scenarios for its operations and value chain. This risk assessment framework helped Zebra improve insights for climate-related risk preparedness at both tactical and strategic levels. Read more.


7. Showcase Project: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s John Ferraro Building

Built in 1965, the John Ferraro Building (JFB) is an iconic office building that houses Better Plants partner, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The LADWP implemented several energy and water efficiency upgrades to the building’s lighting, plumbing, fan, and chiller systems. The upgrades resulted in 37% energy savings and over $1.7 million in cost savings; the building also achieved LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance. Read more.


8. Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities

Low-income households spend about 8% of their income on energy costs, three times more than average. Better Buildings Accelerator partners committed $335 million to help 155,000 low-income households access energy efficiency and renewable energy benefits, collecting resources and lessons learned into the CELICA Toolkit. The toolkit includes a guide to program development and replicable program models for single-family and multifamily housing, as well as community solar. Read more.


9. Decarbonization Resource Hub

Buildings and manufacturing plants comprise approximately two-thirds of U.S. CO2 emissions, and carbon reduction goals are central to efficient operations and robust financial performance in these facilities. DOE is partnering with organizations to demonstrate and share real-world emission reduction pathways for all types of buildings within the market. This hub offers resources, tools, and solutions on how to successfully implement a decarbonization strategy. Read more.

10. Commercial Pace Financing for New Construction

Commercial property assessed clean energy (CPACE) financing helps overcome the upfront costs of implementing energy, water, or resilience projects. While it is most commonly used to finance projects in existing buildings, owners and developers are increasingly incorporating CPACE into the capital stack for new building construction. This toolkit offers resources and case studies for owners and developers that may want to take advantage of CPACE for new construction. Read more.