Beat Blog

by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 19, 2017
On December 12, representatives from DOE traveled to Shari’s Café & Pies in Lynnwood, Washington and to King County International Airport to recognize Shari’s and King County for their energy efficiency leadership. Shari’s Café & Pies is the first full-service restaurant to join the Better...
by Joan Glickman, DOE on Dec 19, 2017
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s)  Home Energy Score program (the Score) is celebrating a milestone this month: Since the program launch in 2012, over 500 individuals are qualified to offer the Score, a miles-per-gallon energy rating system for homes. These individuals – known as Home Energy...
by Monica Kanojia on Dec 07, 2017
The education sector, particularly K-12 schools, has seen a rapid rise in the uptake of zero energy design with many school districts committing to zero energy performance goals for deep retrofits and future new construction projects. Zero energy schools are extremely energy efficient buildings...
by Blakely Jarrett, ICF on Dec 05, 2017
Better Buildings Challenge partners have always been market-drivers in energy efficiency, and our Multifamily partners are no exception. Three partners – all Public Housing Authorities – joined the SEED initiative to open up opportunities for sustainability and energy efficiency in their...
by Leslie Zarker, ICF on Dec 05, 2017
This Fall, the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA) launched the nation’s first housing authority-developed, owned, and operated 100% Low Income Community Solar Garden. The 2-megawatt, $3.8 million project will power affordable housing units in Denver and help low-income...
by Jen Singer, ICF on Dec 05, 2017
On October 26, DOE held a webinar to explore the issue of transportation fleet conversion for K-12 school districts. K-12 school sustainability conversations are growing beyond energy-efficient buildings to include fuel-efficient school transit systems. School bus fleet conversions have been...
by Cindy Zhu, DOE Fellow on Dec 05, 2017
Advocates for the development and investment of high-performing, energy efficient buildings understand the hurdles that come along with proving the business case to commercial real estate owners and investors. Fortunately, a strong and growing amount of research effectively shows the significant...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 01, 2017
The Top 10 Solutions from November feature a wide range of sustainability best practices. They include a unique water-saving Implementation Model from a leading university, a video showcasing opportunities for clean energy in commercial real estate properties, energy-saving contracts and more. If...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 01, 2017
Life Time, Healthy Way of Life, has significantly upgraded their RTU portfolio in recent years. With nearly 130 large, resort-like destinations, Life Time’s portfolio is growing quickly, with the majority of the healthy way of life company’s clubs now using high-efficiency units with cutting-edge...
by Sachin Nimbalkar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on Nov 03, 2017
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) ISO 50001 experts, Bill Meffert, Randy Green, and Jason Clarke delivered a 50001 Ready In-Plant Training at AbbVie’s North Chicago, Illinois, facility on September 12 and 13. The training was also attended by Better Plants program representative Bruce Lung and ORNL’...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 02, 2017
The Top 10 Solutions from October will inspire you to immediately improve your energy-efficiency practices. The Top 10 Solutions from September kicked off our fall solutions with a bang, but October delivered some crucial building insights for the colder months ahead. This edition of the Top 10...
by Jen Singer, ICF on Nov 02, 2017
The state of Connecticut recently announced its first of several planned energy savings performance contracts (ESPC), a retrofit of CT Valley Hospital (CVH). The project, which is expected to achieve $31.9 million in guaranteed energy and maintenance savings over 15 years, will result in a 35...
by Jen Singer, ICF on Nov 02, 2017
Both New York and Rhode Island have enacted legislation prioritizing energy efficiency with measurable success. New York created a framework to set energy reduction targets and track improvements, while Rhode Island established a set of guiding principles to make energy efficiency more cost...
by Allison Nozza, JDM on Nov 02, 2017
The Beat Blog recently told you about Cleveland Clinic’s new case study on Green Revolving Funds for Healthcare projects. Inspired by the growing interest in this funding mechanism, Better Buildings has compiled this excellent resource, and many others, into the Green Revolving Funds Toolkit....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 31, 2017
A collaborative approach towards energy efficiency can often yield better results than individuals working alone. This month, employees from two Volvo Group plants participated in a DOE Energy Treasure Exchange through the Better Plants program to uncover energy efficiency opportunities in their...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 26, 2017
Last month, staff from DOE’s Better Plants program convened with partners in Atlanta, Georgia, for the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC), the largest energy conference and technology expo in the United States. WEEC brings together top experts from diverse fields to expand knowledge on...
by Daniel Robinson, DOE on Oct 26, 2017
Good news for owners and operators of small data centers in Maryland! This summer, Maryland’s Energy Administration (MEA) announced the Data Center Energy Efficiency Grant Program (DCEEG), which awards grants from $20,000 to $200,000 for eligible energy efficiency projects in commercial, state/...
by Joan Glickman, DOE on Oct 26, 2017
This October, the Energy Department’s Home Energy Score team, along with many of their partnering organizations, have been celebrating Energy Action Month. These organizations (including state energy offices, non-profits, and utilities) recognize that the Home Energy Score is an effective way to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 23, 2017
Welcome to the Better Buildings Challenge, Reno! The Biggest Little City in the World has set out to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by the year 2025 in municipal buildings and in participating commercial, multifamily, and industrial buildings across the City. The City of Reno...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 18, 2017
Recently we wrote about Better Buildings partners at the 2017 CleanMed conference who presented about different strategies and mechanisms for financing energy efficiency improvements at healthcare facilities. Cleveland Clinic spoke about their Green Revolving Fund, the largest of its kind for...
by Sormeh Konjkav, Waypoint Building Group on Oct 13, 2017
Dealing with rooftop units (RTUs) at the end of life can be a financial and environmental liability. In addition, it’s a challenge to keep up with changing regulations. On September 12, 2017, the Advanced RTU Campaign hosted an informational webinar about upcoming changes in RTU regulations, and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 12, 2017
When you have a portfolio of over 900 quick-service restaurants across the country, how do you keep track of, manage, and maintain all of your HVAC equipment? Frank Inoa and his team at Arby’s were able to find a 21st century solution to that … an app! Starting in 2015, Arby’s developed a...
by Joan Glickman, DOE on Oct 11, 2017
In 2015, the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) partnered with the Energy Department to offer the Energy Department’s Home Energy Score through the state’s primary utilities: Eversource Energy and United Illuminating, a subsidiary of Avangrid, Inc. The state is a champion of the Home Energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 06, 2017
What happens when a service you need is taken off the market? You figure out how to get the job done yourself! In 2013, ENERGY STAR® retired their certification for medical office buildings, based on the lack of a good data set for scoring and comparison. Better Building Alliance partner...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 05, 2017
On September 20, 2017, representatives from the Department of Energy traveled to The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention Center to honor Las Vegas Sands Corp. for its energy-efficiency work at the largest hotel under one roof in the world. At these properties, Las Vegas Sands Corp...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 29, 2017
The Top 10 Solutions for September will show you tried-and-true energy solutions to help your energy efficiency goals fall into place! If you thought our Top 10 Solutions in August rounded out the summer well, the bonafide solutions from September will keep you intrigued for the new season. This...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 27, 2017
Imagine going back to school in very comfortable classrooms with high indoor air quality – that’s what’s happening for thousands of students in the Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) in San Bernardino County, California, thanks to a fleet of over 200 new rooftop units (RTUs) conditioning their...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 25, 2017
Far and away, the top-rated session at the 2017 Better Buildings Summit (based on your feedback) was Energy Efficient-SHE: Women’s Perspectives on Sustainability. Not only was the room at capacity – to the degree that in the back it was standing-room-only – but the conversation was full of...
by Cindy Zhu, DOE Fellow on Sep 19, 2017
Missing links don’t have to be missed opportunities. Within the commercial real estate space, a significant opportunity exists to incorporate energy into real estate transactions during the mortgage underwriting process. The Commercial Mortgages project team, comprised of the Institute for Market...
by Leslie Zarker, ICF on Sep 17, 2017
Most of us know Yoda as a cute, rumpled little geriatric urging all of us to be our best selves. But for the past year, 100 Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partners have participated in YoDa, HUD’s shorthand for the Year of Data drive. The acronym is appropriate in more ways than one, as...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 14, 2017
Found in 1976, DOE's Industrial Assessment Center program (IAC) helps small- to medium-sized American manufacturers save money and improve energy performance by providing no-cost audits of various manufacturing processes. Across 28 universities, engineering students work with experienced...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 06, 2017
Proper building maintenance is a critical component of any facility’s sustainability strategy. Without the right tools in place, it can be challenging to know if your HVAC system has leaky chilled water valves or outdoor air sensor drift. Better Buildings Challenge partner, Sprint, has a tool that...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 01, 2017
The Top 10 Solutions for August deliver a riveting wrap-up to summer. If you enjoyed our Top 10 Solutions in July, the tried-and-true solutions from August won’t leave you disappointed. This edition of the Top 10 includes energy practices from a healthcare system that has saved the organization $...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 01, 2017
Students are heading back to school, which means spending money on supplies, books, and all the other essentials. But schools can save money by unlocking their energy savings potential. Zero-energy schools can use up to 80 percent less energy than conventional schools; DOE’s Monica Kanojia at the...
by Jay Paidipati, Navigant on Aug 23, 2017
At the recent Better Buildings Summit, I had the opportunity to moderate a session with Karen Butterfield of Stem, Ben Myers of Boston Properties, and Jessie Denver with the City of San Francisco to discuss their strategies and experiences related to adopting solar PV plus energy storage. It was a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 23, 2017
How can we use the most impactful packages of energy savings measures, big data from buildings and strategic investment planning to capture 20-30 percent more whole building energy savings than just the "low-hanging fruit?" Building from current research and development by DOE’s Commercial...
by Joan Glickman, DOE on Aug 22, 2017
The Home Energy Score team is excited to announce the winners of the inaugural Home Energy Score Century Club Award. The Century Club Award recognizes Home Energy Score Assessors who have delivered 100 or more Home Energy Scores in a calendar year and are in good standing with their program...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 17, 2017
The 2017 Better Buildings Summit brought the best and brightest energy-efficiency experts to Washington, D.C., and this month, we're recapping our top-performing Summit presentations according to attendee feedback. Coming in at Number 4 is "Believe in Green: Investor-Oriented Sustainability...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 10, 2017
This summer, representatives from the City of Nashville and the Department of Energy traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to honor Loews Hotels & Co. for its energy-efficient upgrades and retrofits at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. Since 2015, the Vanderbilt hotel has improved its energy efficiency...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 10, 2017
When the Better Buildings Challenge was initially established in 2011, Atlanta became one of the first cities in the country to join the Challenge and commit to 20 percent energy savings and 20 percent water-usage reduction across its city-wide infrastructure by the year 2020.  However, like a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 07, 2017
The City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida has joined the Better Buildings Challenge, joining a long list of local governments that have committed to aggressive energy-efficiency goals that help municipalities save energy and money while creating jobs. In the United States, local government buildings...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 07, 2017
This exclusive report, from our content partner, Smart Energy Decisions, explores the findings of a 2017 survey of large commercial and industrial energy users regarding their near-term corporate energy management and renewable energy sourcing plans amid an increasingly daunting landscape.  In an...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 04, 2017
The Smart Energy Analytics (SEA) Campaign encourages the use of commercially available Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS) technologies and ongoing monitoring practices to help uncover energy-saving opportunities and improve building performance for the long run. With building...
by Jen Singer, ICF on Aug 03, 2017
On July 19, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the 2017 Green Ribbon Schools awardees, recognizing two Better Buildings Challenge partners and one Zero Energy Schools Accelerator partner for their sustainability efforts and ecologically-minded student engagement. Fairfax County Public Schools...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 02, 2017
The Top 10 Solutions for July provides a refreshing taste of new solutions to cool off from the dog days of summer. If you were excited to see eight solutions new to the Top 10 in June, the month of July does not disappoint -  eight additional projects have climbed the ranks over the past 31 days...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 24, 2017
The CleanMed conference and exposition is a significant annual event for those advancing sustainability within the healthcare sector. Influential healthcare stakeholders convene with vendors of cleaner and safer products and services to propel forward a stronger commitment towards sustainable...
by Kelly Vaughn, Program Marketer, Rocky Mountain Institute on Jul 21, 2017
This summer, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance announced the new class of Green Lease Leaders, a designation to recognize companies that have successfully modernized their lease language to include energy efficiency, and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 18, 2017
Over 100 energy managers, utility experts, and other industrial sector vendors and stakeholders gathered in New Orleans on June 20-22 for the Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC). IETC was a rare opportunity for the industrial energy community to network and learn about industrial...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 14, 2017
Better Buildings Affiliate Seventhwave advances sustainability as an independent non-profit through energy consulting, continuing education, research and program design for the residential and commercial building sectors. Want a piece of their institutional wisdom? Based on recent projects,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 12, 2017
With all the excitement in the run-up to the Better Buildings Summit, you may have missed some of the great new resources that were published in the Better Buildings Solution Center! Take a minute to check out some of the newest solutions from Better Buildings Challenge partners: Partner:...

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