Top 10 Solutions of 2019

As 2020 kicks off, we are excited to share the 10 most-viewed resources on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past year. Check out these popular solutions you may have missed!

1. Commercial Energy Financing Primer

Part of the Better Buildings Financing Navigator, this primer serves as an introduction to critical issues in energy finance for commercial buildings such as hospitality, retail, and the commercial real estate sector. It includes case studies, market data, and other resources to help leaders in the sector take advantage of innovative financing strategies. Read more.

2. K-12 Lighting Toolkit

For K-12 schools in the U.S., energy bills represent the second-highest operating expense behind salaries. By optimizing their lighting equipment and operations, K-12 schools can save up to 50% on energy use. This resource covers a wide range of K-12-specific technical implementation details, case studies, specifications, and other best practices for how to implement energy-efficient lighting in schools. Read more.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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. Efficiency-Resilience Nexus Resources

This collection of resources helps building operators, state and local officials, utilities, and other organizations take steps to build resilience and increase their ability to bounce back from natural disasters and other stressors. Resources include roadmaps for community-wide resilience planning, financing and design guidance for building owners and operators, and webinars featuring experts who have undertaken resilience improvements.

7. 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 are then used to replenish the fund, establishing an ongoing funding vehicle to help drive energy efficiency and sustainability investment over time. Read more.

8. Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool

This decision tree provides an interactive and visual representation of scenarios and questions typically encountered in upgrading/replacing a public outdoor lighting system. The tool features successful cases and models used by cities and states to help find solutions to common barriers. Read more.

9. Ulta Beauty: Breaking Down the Split Incentive Barrier with RTU Performance and Maintenance Specifications

During its landlord/tenant negotiations, Ulta Beauty advocates for the landlord to incorporate industry-leading RTU guidelines, including preventative maintenance programs, technical specifications, and equipment replacements as needed. As a result, the retailer benefits from guaranteed quality RTU operations with limited maintenance obligations for the landlord. Read more.

10. Efficiency-as-a-Service Toolkit

Efficiency-as-a-service (EaaS) is a pay-for-performance, off-balance sheet financing solution that allows customers to implement energy and water efficiency projects with no upfront capital expenditure. It is a relatively new financing mechanism, in which customers pay a provider for the service of energy savings. This toolkit provides resources and case studies for building owners, operators, and occupants who may want to take advantage of EaaS for energy and water projects. Read more.