September Top 10 Solutions

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 03, 2021

The top 10 most-viewed resources on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past month include toolkits for wastewater energy management, energy management information systems, clean energy access in low-income communities, project financing, and more. Resources featured in this list highlight solutions from Better Buildings partners New York City Housing Authority, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and Better Plants partner Ford Motor Company.

1. Wastewater Energy Management Toolkit

Municipal wastewater treatment systems in the U.S. consume approximately 30 billion kWh annually, and their operations are typically the largest energy users in a community. This toolkit enables water resource recovery facilities to improve their energy efficiency, providing best practices and innovative approaches successfully used by wastewater facilities to establish and implement energy management plans. It is based on the work of DOE's Better Buildings Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) Accelerator. Read more. 

2. 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 approachesthat 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.

3. 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.

4. Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities (CELICA) Toolkit

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.

5. Smart Energy Analytics Campaign Toolkit

With analytic software applied to everyday building operations, owners are using data to their advantage and realizing cost savings through improved energy management.This toolkit collects the best resources from DOE’s Smart Energy Analytics Campaign to help facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities and performance improvements from energy management information systems (EMIS) and ongoing monitoring practices. Read more.

 6. New York City Housing Authority: 344 East 28th Street

To address energy challenges faced at its 344 East 28th Street multifamily apartment complex, Better Buildings Challenge partner New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) conducted an extensive lighting, heating, and hot-water modernization project. Energy-efficient upgrades made to these building systems, as well as NYCHA’s first-ever deployment of renewable technologies, resulted in 37% annual energy savings and nearly $114,000 in cost savings. Read more.

7. EMIS Specification and Procurement Support Materials

Energy management information systems can enable significant energy savings, often with rapid payback. This package of materials, which was the subject of the recent EMIS Crash Course webinar, guides you through the specification, procurement, and selection of an EMIS or related building energy performance monitoring and diagnostic technology, as well as the specification of ongoing support services in using the EMIS. Read more.

8. IHG Hotels & Resorts Green Engage™ Program

IHG Hotels and Resorts, a Better Buildings Alliance partner, created the IHG Green Engage™ system as a comprehensive online sustainability platform. It allows hotels to track, measure, and report on their carbon footprint and utility consumption. With over 200 Green Solutions, including detailed action plans, guidance, and case studies, Green Engage can help hotels avoid up to $67 million in utility costs while significantly reducing their carbon footprint. Read more. 

9. Ford Motor Company: Dearborn Campus Uses a Digital Twin Tool for Energy Plant

A digital twin is the virtual representation of an object or system across its life cycle that helps operators quickly identify problems. Better Plants partner Ford Motor Company is using a digital twin of the new energy central energy plant (CEP) at its Dearborn Research and Engineering Campus. The new CEP is projected to achieve a 50% reduction in campus energy and water use; the digital twin enables tracking the plant’s performance towards that target. The model helps the Ford team manage energy and operational risks by monitoring operations across the CEP and providing real-time data for increased visibility and more efficient operations and design. Read more. 

10. 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.