This year's Top-10 Solutions are featured below. These are the most-viewed solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center.
1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit
The Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy efficiency by making energy data more accessible to building owners. As a result of best practices developed by the EDA, 18 utilities serving more than 2.6 million commercial customers nationwide will provide whole-building energy data access to building owners by 2017. The resulting toolkit describes the best practices that enabled cities, utilities, and other stakeholders to overcome whole-building data access barriers. Read more.
2. Toolkit: Implement Energy Management Information Systems in your Building Portfolio
Energy management Information Systems (EMIS) are a relatively new technology based on the old adage "you can't manage what you don’t measure." EMIS gives property owners and managers the ability to see their energy use and take action to reduce waste. This tool kit introduces where to begin. Read more.
3. SWAP Season 2: U.S. Naval Academy vs. U.S. Air Force Academy
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched season two of “Better Buildings Challenge SWAP,” featuring the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy. Both military operations swap energy teams to improve the energy efficiency of each one’s campus. The web series covers a two-day swap at each campus. The teams learn from each other that they can apply simple behavioral changes to help students and faculty be more mindful about lighting usage and plug loads in classrooms when not in use. Both teams also show off innovative techniques for energy savings including flat solar panel design, and an on-site biodigester for eliminating food waste.
- Watch the episodes
- U.S. Department of Energy progress alert
- Huffington Post: Military Rivals Face Off In An Energy-Saving Web Series
- The Fast Company: The Department Of Energy's Efficiency-Based Reality Show Is Great Television. It's Navy vs. Air Force in a battle over air-conditioning units and food waste biodigestion.
4. Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator: Decision Tree Tool
Municipalities, states, and public and federal agencies are continuously looking to decrease spending on utility bills, improve safety and services, and protect the environment. High–performance outdoor lighting technologies are proving to be a cost–effective energy savings measure, often offering 50 percent or more savings relative to previously installed systems while lasting longer and offering tremendous maintenance and operational benefits. The cost of these technologies can be further reduced for deployment in local communities through collaboration, including volume or bulk purchasing, and customized utility incentives and tariffs. Read more.
5. Better Buildings Financing Navigator: Online Tool to Help Identify Funding for Energy Efficiency Projects
Launched to Better Buildings Challenge partners last month, the Better Buildings Financing Navigator proves to be a trusted tool for users exploring a wide array of financing choices. The Navigator helps user identify relevant financing options for their energy efficiency projects. Through the Navigator, users can also connect to the larger Better Buildings Challenge Financial Ally community, which includes banks and lenders that are committed to making bold financial investments in energy efficiency and are actively pursuing new opportunities to finance projects. The Navigator provides information about the marketplace in general, including building owners, facility and energy managers, sustainability directors, executives, contractors, consultants, brokers, researchers, and other decision-makers.Read more.
6. Better Buildings Alliance Technology Specifications & Technology Team Activities
The Better Buildings Alliance Technology Solutions Teams help commercial building owners realize greater emergu efficiency opportunities by providing objective guidance on where to focus time and resources. These include specifications and specific activities designed to advance the installation of technologies in commercial buildings. Read more.
7. UC Berkeley Implementation Model: Tying Energy Costs to Building Occupants
The UC Berkeley Energy Management Initiative (EMI) is having a tremendous impact on the campus' building energy use. Designed to complement existing campus operations and goals, EMI broadly consists of four components: the Energy Incentive Program (EIP), Energy Office, Energy Dashboards and Energy Policy. To date, EMI has saved 58.7 million kWh, 893 thousand therms and $6.5 million in the three years since its implementation. This is equivalent to a 22% drop in energy use intensity over the same period. Read more.
8. LINC Housing Implementation Model: Replicable and Scalable Near-Zero Net Energy Retrofits for Low-Income Housing
To strengthen its commitment to sustainability, in 2012 LINC Housing formed SEED Partners, a mission-driven energy and water services company. SEED is focused on sustainable retrofits of LINC’s expanding portfolio, development of renewable energy projects, and enhancing the features of LINC’s properties under development. SEED also offers consulting services to help other owners with retrofitting their portfolio. Read more.
9. City of Milwaukee, WI Implementation Model: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program
In order to facilitate energy efficiency improvements of commercial and industrial buildings in its jurisdiction, the City of Milwaukee implemented a property assessed clean energy (PACE) program which allows building owners to repay loans for clean energy improvements over time through a special assessment on their property tax bill attached to the property, not the owner. If the owner sells the property before the end of the loan term, the new owner inherits the loan along with the energy improvements, which reduces the risk of financing to building owners. This financing option removes barriers of access to capital and split incentives when property ownership term is shorter than project payback by availing additional financing options to building owners. Read more.
10. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Showcase Project: Aqueduct Filtration Plant Modernization – Oxygen Plant Replacement
The Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant (LAAFP) was completed in 1986 and has a treatment capacity of up to 600 million gallons of water per day. In the mid-2000’s, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) began a comprehensive modernization of the LAAFP with a long-range program to upgrade and replace aging equipment. Energy efficiency was a key component of the program. Replacement of the oxygen plant is one of several projects currently in progress that will help LADWP save energy and money, while improving operations. Read more.