Beat Blog

by Brittany Ryan, JDM on Mar 08, 2016
For five years, the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) releases its annual Regional Roundup of Energy Efficiency Policy. The Regional Roundup provides an update on state progress in energy efficiency policies and programs in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region, as well as trends and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Mar 04, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge partner Shari’s Café and Pies, a 24 hour, full service restaurant chain located in the Pacific Northwest, recently became the first full service restaurant to join the Better Buildings Challenge, committing to a 20% reduction in energy intensity by 2025 across nearly 400...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 29, 2016
Last week, we traveled to Florida where we met with three Better Buildings Challenge partners: the cities of West Palm Beach and Orlando, and commercial real estate developer Parkway Properties. As Maria T. Vargas, director of the Better Buildings Challenge participated in tours of some of the...
by Rich Shandross, Navigant and Cara Bastoni, ICF on Feb 26, 2016
Food service organizations face unique energy benchmarking challenges, particularly as energy use can frequently be more closely correlated to the quantity of food served than to the size of the restaurant. Nevertheless, the basics of benchmarking closely parallel those for other sectors, with a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Feb 24, 2016
As the Better Buildings Challenge has made evident, the energy efficiency community is a unique breed. Sometimes it seems like we’re speaking our own language. We have our own blogs, our own podcasts and of course our own goals, metrics and rules of the road for how we get there. And now we have...
by Holly Jamesen Carr, U.S. Department of Energy on Feb 22, 2016
Every year the Department of Energy releases an annual Winter Progress Update highlighting programmatic activities and partner successes of the Better Buildings Alliance. The 2016 Winter Progress Update and Progress Update Infographic lauds the accomplishments of more than 200 partners,...
by John Jameson, ICF International on Feb 22, 2016
For local governments, energy and water efficiency projects are often in direct competition with other priorities for limited financing. King County, WA, however, found a way to provide access to funding for meeting its energy reduction goals without competition with or delay to other critical...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Feb 19, 2016
The City of Boston maintains 24 neighborhood libraries, with the Central Library in Copley Square serving the main headquarters. Referred to by architect Charles Follen McKim as the "palace for the people,” the facility has achieved a 25% reduction in energy consumption by upgrading its energy...
by Maxime Verstraete, Vice President of Sustainability and ADA Compliance on Feb 19, 2016
When Hilton Worldwide was approached to participate in the Department of Energy’s first-ever Better Buildings Challenge SWAP, we were excited, then the questions hit us.  Our systems are so different, how will they know what to look for? What will they say? How will metrics stack up? As you can...
by Kathy Loftus, Global Leader, Sustainable Facilities, Whole Foods Market on Feb 17, 2016
And it is evident by the partnership we’ve begun in the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP. Whole Foods Market is a company that is well aware of the impact that energy efficiency in commercial buildings can have in protecting the environment and saving billions of dollars in energy costs for the U.S...
by Maria T. Vargas on Feb 16, 2016
When we announced the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP last May at the Better Buildings Summit, our goal was to find a new way to highlight leaders and share how everyone can learn from their peers, even those from an industry completely different than their own. After all, that is a large part of...
by Sachin Nimbalkar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Supporting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program on Feb 10, 2016
Charter Steel joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program in October 2015. Since then, the manufacturer of carbon and alloy steel rod, bar, and wire has set an overall company goal of reducing energy intensity by 25 percent over 10 years among their three U.S....
by Andrew Feierman, Institute for Market Transformation on Feb 04, 2016
Last week, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the Better Buildings Alliance launched the third annual Green Lease Leaders recognition program. Beginning in 2013, Green Lease Leaders has set the bar for what makes a green or “energy-aligned” lease and put a much needed spotlight on...
by Andrew Burr, U.S. Department of Energy on Feb 02, 2016
Last week, over 60 energy efficiency leaders ranging from the local, regional, and national levels participated in a Better Buildings and White House hosted Roundtable to recognize the accomplishments of cities and utilities in improving access to building energy data nation-wide and to discuss in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 21, 2016
The 2016 Summit is just around the corner --- taking place May 9-11 in Washington D.C. Better Buildings partners are encouraged to register and sign up for showcase project tours, workshops, and speed dating sessions with financial allies (one on one meetings between partners and financial experts...
by Rois Langner, Better Buildings Alliance Technology Team Lead on Jan 14, 2016
Plug and process loads (PPLs) consume nearly one-third of primary energy in U.S. commercial buildings, and their energy use is projected to grow as the number and intensity of plug-in devices continue to increase. Fortunately, there are numerous easy-to-implement strategies to control and reduce...
by Joan Glickman, Department of Energy on Jan 14, 2016
Did you know that the average homeowner spends more than $2,000 each year on energy? Utility costs are a significant part of the cost of homeownership, yet most consumers have little if any information about how much utility bills are likely to be when they buy a house. If you buy a newly built...
by Jess Swaringen on Jan 11, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge partner Digital Realty Trust Inc., a data center solutions and services provider based in San Francisco, CA recently earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification for its facility in Lithia Springs, Georgia.  The certification acknowledges...
by Zach Abrams, ICF International, Michael Meyer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on Jan 08, 2016
Better Buildings Alliance member Costco, a membership warehouse retailer based in the Pacific Northwest, implemented a low-cost lighting technique in its office space that reduced the average wattage per fixture by 80%, and increased staff comfort. Costco buildings have been acquired and modified...
by Chris Cloutier on Jan 06, 2016
In 2014 at the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit, cities from around the world signed the Compact of Mayors, which establishes a common platform to capture the impact of the cities’ collective actions through the standardized measurement of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and assessment of...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Jan 06, 2016
This past year, at the Better Buildings Summit, the Energy Department launched the Better Buildings Solution Center, an online tool, hosting hundreds of partner solutions that have been proven to accelerate energy savings in single buildings, and across entire building portfolios. As users browse...
by Jeremy Crawford, Executive Director, Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) on Jan 05, 2016
Technology empowering home buyers to find homes based on efficiency ratings is available and currently being tested. Imagine the next time you are ready to buy a home, going online and being able to search by the energy-efficiency ratings of homes the same way you can search for homes by price, or...
by Andy Mitchell on Dec 21, 2015
Sometimes the greatest energy efficiency tool goes beyond the latest and most efficient technologies. That case is true with Hilton Worldwide, and the company's recent certification under the U.S. Department of Energy's Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program. Yesterday, Hilton Worldwide...
by Jason Dingle, Corporate Director Environmental Health, Safety, and Security, JBT Corporation on Dec 17, 2015
A number of years ago, JBT Corporation – a Better Plants partner – began looking into the potential of replacing a large percentage of its Madera, California facility’s electrical power usage with a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system. The food processing machinery and airport equipment-company...
by Richard Shandross on Dec 14, 2015
The Food Service Team of the Energy Department's Better Building Alliance has just released a guidance document on Demand-Controlled Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV).  DCKV is a technology that modifies your exhaust hood and make-up air to save energy (otherwise known as "money") by reducing the air...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 10, 2015
There's no denying that by creating sustainable energy on-site, companies across America are benefiting from utility bill savings, while also reducing carbon emissions in their local communities. Recently, the Solar Energy Industries Association (and Better Buildings Alliance affiliate), released ...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 08, 2015
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio is one of more than 250 leaders from diverse sectors who has stepped up to the Better Buildings Challenge, representing more than 3.5 billion square feet, 650 manufacturing plants, and $5.5 billion in financing investments. Mayor Muoio is also representing the city...
by Monica Kanojia on Dec 08, 2015
One of this year’s resonating themes at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo was the energy-water nexus, which the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge and its partners have taken on as an extension of its energy savings program. All partners that sign on to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 07, 2015
Why U.S. climate leaders are moving their most effective energy strategies from behind the curtain to center stage As the world’s leaders gather in Paris to come up with plans to combat climate change, Better Buildings partners are actively solving climate problems in their own communities and...
by Jacob Dowling on Dec 02, 2015
A commercial lease defines a landlord/tenant relationship from the very beginning, detailing rent price, term length, build out standards and a host of other parameters. The lease negotiation process is often adversarial, with both tenant and landlord mindful of maximizing control while minimizing...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 01, 2015
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out November's Top-10 solutions below.   1. Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool Municipalities, states, and other public and federal agencies are continuously looking for new opportunities...
by Sachin Nimbalkar on Nov 30, 2015
On October 19th and 20th, Better Plants partner, ArcelorMittal, hosted its first Fan In-Plant Training (INPLT) at its Cleveland plant. Over the course of two days, a team of 20 ArcelorMittal staff, and representatives from Dow Chemical Company and Owens Corning, dug into fan energy efficiency...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 24, 2015
We are excited to announce that the Better Buildings Alliance's very own, Dr. Jessica Granderson, the Energy Management Information Systems technology team lead, and Research Scientist and the Deputy of Research Programs for the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division at the Lawrence...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 23, 2015
In October, Dr. Kathleen Hogan of the Department of Energy kicked off a multi-family housing roundtable discussion with the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC) at the offices of Central Atlanta Progress. The event was an opportunity for Atlanta-based stakeholders to engage in a wide-ranging...
by Monica Kanojia on Nov 18, 2015
The industrial industry is filled with unique and dynamic projects with substantially high process loads and resource consumption. This sector faces a different set of challenges in attaining sustainably built campuses. Owners must address compliance, regulations and safety of tenants in working...
by Sachin Nimbalkar on Nov 09, 2015
In October, General Aluminum and the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Plants program hosted a four day In-Plant Training (INPLT) event at a Conneaut Plant in Ohio. The INPLT focused on the plant’s natural gas consumption as the Conneaut area is experiencing a natural gas shortage. The goal was...
by Chris Cloutier and Jen Singer on Nov 06, 2015
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently released its annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which shows that states participating in the Better Building Challenge are leading the way in energy efficiency. Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, and Rhode...
by Clifton Yin on Nov 05, 2015
As a Better Plants partner, Owens Corning has reduced its worldwide energy intensity by ten percent from a 2010 baseline. But the company is not resting on its sustainability laurels; last week, it dedicated a 2.4 megawatt solar canopy at its downtown Toledo, Ohio, headquarters that will power as...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 04, 2015
Meaty sandwiches, curly fries and shakes take a lot less energy to prepare, thanks to new energy efficiency technologies and efforts deployed by Arby’s Restaurant Group, who joined the Better Buildings Challenge as one of the program’s first food service partners earlier this year. Last week Dr....
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 02, 2015
October's Top 10 solutions are featured below. These are the partner solutions most viewed by users of the Better Buildings Solution Center in the month of October. 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...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 26, 2015
Last week we spent time in beautiful Lake Tahoe, and visited the Granlibakken conference center and resort, the showcase project for public sector partner Placer County in California.  The project was special for a few reasons (besides being a top destination for events, weddings and lodging in...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 21, 2015
It’s exciting when a Better Buildings partner achieves its energy savings goal, then steps up to best those goals time and time again. That’s exactly what Best Buy has done with its Better Buildings Challenge goal to reduce energy use, and now with its new commitment to reduce carbon emissions by...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 15, 2015
If you ever wondered about what goes into making a box of cereal, and more specifically, how energy efficient solutions can be incorporated into large-scale food production, read on to get the inside scoop on the Energy Department’s tour of Better Plants Challenge partner General Mills Cedar...
by Monica Kanojia on Oct 09, 2015
How the grocery store’s all-around, and all-over approach to corporate-wide sustainability promotes customer loyalty and engages employees The Food Marketing Institute recently held its Energy and Store Development Conference in San Diego, CA where facility managers, designers, and energy modelers...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 07, 2015
We were reminded of the might of American manufacturers last week, with the release of the Better Plants Progress Report, the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) and World Manufacturing Day on Oct. 2. The Better Plants Progress Report released the cumulative and individual successes of over...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 05, 2015
PNC Financial Services Group officially opened its new headquarters, The Tower at PNC Plaza. This was not just any ordinary grand opening. Members of the community, city officials, and PNC executives gathered at the 33-story, 800,000 square foot tower in Pittsburgh to tour the building that is...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 29, 2015
Each month we feature the most viewed partner solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center. September's top-10 solutions are below.            1. City of Milwaukee, WI: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program In order to facilitate energy efficiency improvements of commercial and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 22, 2015
On September 16th, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall met with Los Angeles city leaders to witness the finishing touches being put on the upcoming La Kretz Innovation Campus, and soon-to-be home of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. When the campus...
by Joan Glickman on Sep 17, 2015
It’s becoming easier to demonstrate a home’s energy efficiency performance. This month, through its Better Buildings Colorado program, Colorado became the second state to offer the Home Energy Score statewide, which provides a home’s efficiency score and recommendations for efficiency improvements...
by Priya Swamy on Sep 14, 2015
Last spring, the Energy Department (DOE) launched its Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines, a national framework that helps professional organizations develop high-quality training and certification programs for their members. The Guidelines, which provide national recognition to this work, help...

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