Top 10 Solutions in June

This May, the Better Buildings Solution Center launched at the Better Buildings Summit. We've added hundreds of solutions shared by partners, and encourage you to check it out. As you browse solutions, please let us know if you have ideas or feedback so we can continue to add resources to help meet your goals to improve the energy use of your buildings.

Last month's Top 10 solutions are featured below. These are the partner solutions most viewed by users of the Better Buildings Solution Center in June.

1. State of Delaware: Centralized Benchmarking & Project Prioritization

Delaware adopted EPA's Portfolio Manager as its primary mechanism to create an inventory of state buildings and begin tracking their energy performance. The state looks across a single repository of the state's energy performance data to identify and mobilize building upgrades with the highest potential energy savings, cost savings, and environmental benefit. This centralized benchmarking and tracking database is now the backbone of Delaware's clean energy strategy. Learn more here.

2. Tower Companies: Leveraging Green Leases to Reduce Energy and Water Use

Like most landlords, Tower does not have control over energy and water usage in tenant office spaces. However, Tower can influence usage through requirements on the design of tenant space. Tower raises the bar on lighting and water efficiency through lease language, requiring a 16% improvement over the local lighting codes and a 30% improvement in plumbing fixture efficiency over current building performance. Learn more here.

3. Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Clean Energy Investment Program

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts created an innovative financing model called the Clean Energy Investment Program (CEIP) to invest in projects using bond funding which is repaid from the energy savings generated by projects. The bonds are obtained at the same time as general obligation bonds, however Massachusetts leverages this low-cost financing without hitting the state's general obligation debt limits. Learn more here.

4. Sprint: 1300 Rochelle East

As part of a portfolio-wide effort to reduce annual energy use by 20%, Sprint has conducted energy audits at its major facilities. The audits have allowed Sprint to identify inefficient sites as well as opportunities for process, system and operational improvements. The Irving, TX office site was identified as a site with significant opportunity for improvement and the ability to be used as a model for energy reduction programs at other sites. Learn more here.

5. JR Simplot: New Potato Processing Plant

J.R. Simplot's showcase project is a new, 420,000 square foot, state-of-the-art potato processing plant that will integrate innovative energy-efficient technologies to achieve dramatic energy efficiency improvements of up to 25% while producing hundreds of millions of pounds of frozen potato products per year. The plant is expected to save the company millions of dollars and contribute to its goal of reducing energy intensity by 25% over 10 years. Learn more here.

6. State of Minnesota: Guaranteed Energy Savings Program

For Minnesota, energy savings performance contracting (ESPC) represented an opportunity to mobilize projects that would move the state toward its energy savings goals if building owners understood ESPC and how to use it effectively. Minnesota established a dedicated team in the Department of Commerce to offer comprehensive ESPC consulting services. The team is called the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP) and supports state agencies and local governments through every step of the ESPC process, minimizing the perceived risk of an unfamiliar approach to project implementation. Learn more here.

7. Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver: North Lincoln Homes, Power Purchase Agreement

Denver Housing Authority (DHA) undertook an ambitious solar installation project to include renewable energy on its existing portfolio of public housing properties. DHA worked with Enfinity America Corporation and Oak Leaf Energy Partners to develop an innovative public-private partnership that resulted in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) - a financial arrangement in which a third-party developer owns, operates, and maintains the renewable energy system, and a host customer agrees to site the system and purchases the electric output for a predetermined period. Learn more here.

8. Prologis: Accessing Tenant Utility Data in Triple Net Leased Buildings

Benchmarking building energy use is a critical step in making energy efficiency improvements, and is increasingly important for both regulatory requirements and voluntary reporting programs. For Prologis, an owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate, benchmarking is a challenge because the majority of its portfolio consists of triple-net leased warehouses and distribution centers. Prologis has added utility data access language to leases, provided authorization forms during the move-in process, and worked directly with utilities in an effort to gain access to this data. Learn more here.

9. City of Denver: Richard T. Castro Building

The Richard T. Castro Building is a general office and public service building housing over 800 employees and is primarily occupied by the City of Denver's Department of Human Services. Energy improvements included sealing the building envelope, upgrading the building automation system, installing four new high efficiency boilers, and utilizing variable frequency drives on HVAC units to allow greater control and synchronization. The building also houses 30 kW of solar panels on its roof. Learn more here.

10. City of Arvada: Police Stations

The City of Arvada encompasses 34 square miles and is located at the base of the foothills between Denver and Boulder, CO. The Arvada Police Department is a full service police department serving approximately 106,000 people and organized under two divisions: Operations and Field Services. The facility was first renovated in 1993, and in the years since, has undergone a variety of changes, including the expansion of the dispatch center in 2006. Learn more here.