State Government

State Government

State government buildings alone consume 1.1 quadrillion Btus each year, and have the potential to save $2.1 billion annually through a 20% improvement (U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2016). Conserving energy in their buildings enables states to shift funds spent on utilities to other public priorities and demonstrate good stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

Find Financing for Your Energy Efficiency Projects: Financing Navigator
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Maryland Hosts Virtual Site Visit

Maryland hosted the first-ever Better Buildings virtual site visit, showcasing the state's energy efficiency strategies and a virtual tour of the upgraded Western Maryland Railway Station. See photos, videos, and more on the Beat Blog.

Watch Recorded Webinars

Watch all previously recorded webinars in the On-Demand Webinars library sorted by popular topics such as resilience, zero energy buildings, and more.

2022 Better Buildings Progress Report

To date, the 900+ Better Buildings partners have saved more than 2.5 quadrillion Btus, saving more than $15 billion and 155 million tons of CO2.

Featured Solutions

The State of Maryland renovated the Western Maryland Railway Station to address occupant comfort issues which resulted in a 21% annual energy savings and an annual cost savings of $12,100.
Watch this webinar to discover how different communities can use energy efficiency and renewable energy as resilience measures for mitigating the impacts of natural disasters and learn about tools, partnerships, and strategies that can make your energy resilience projects a reality.
ESPC Webinar Series Webinar Collection
The ESPC Webinar Series is based on the Energy Savings Performance Contracting Toolkit, a collection of resources compiled from the work of the Better Buildings ESPC Accelerator.
This toolkit helps water resource recovery facilities establish and implement energy management and planning by collecting best practices and innovative approaches used by wastewater facilities who partnered with DOE's Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) Accelerator.
State Government Meet-Up 2019 Better Buildings Summit
Fellow states and experts discussed effective frameworks for making energy efficiency "business as usual." Attendees broke out into small groups to discuss specific suggestions on how to support those frameworks via policy and action.

Other Resources

Implementation Models

With tight budgets and limited internal capacity to manage energy and water usage, the State of North Carolina formed the Utility Savings Initiative to manage and reduce energy and water consumption at state-owned buildings. Through state investment and private performance contracts, the initiative has avoided nearly $553 million in utility costs.
Minnesota delivers technical, financial, and contractual assistance to state agencies to support the implementation of Energy Savings Performance Contracting. GESP is available as a resource to all state agencies, local governments, and school districts in Minnesota.
Delaware established a centralized benchmarking and tracking database to identify and mobilize building upgrades with the highest potential energy savings, cost savings, and environmental benefit, leading to more than 17% energy reduction.
Maryland designed a lead-by-example competition to mobilize the largest energy-consuming state agencies; reducing energy consumption by nearly 20% in five years.
Massachusetts created the Clean Energy Investment Program (CEIP) to invest in projects using bond funding that is repaid from the generated energy savings. This innovative financing model allows capital spending on energy projects without impacting the state’s debt limits.
State of New York created BuildSmart NY, a state-led initiative to centralize state building energy management, set a blueprint for action, and provide project technical assistance and support. The initiative reported 4.3% energy savings statewide.
State of Rhode Island established the principle of Least Cost Procurement, which requires their primary utility to invest in energy efficiency first; securing energy efficiency investments, reducing energy bills, and creating jobs as a result.


State Government Meet-Up 2019 Better Buildings Summit
Fellow states and experts discussed effective frameworks for making energy efficiency "business as usual." Attendees broke out into small groups to discuss specific suggestions on how to support those frameworks via policy and action.

Showcase Projects

Massachusetts' Hogan/Wrentham Comprehensive Energy Project reduced energy use at participating sites by 41% and lowered energy bills by more than $2.5 million annually through lighting, high-efficiency motors, enhanced controls, upgrades to the power and steam plants, renewables, and more.
Delaware's Carvel State Office Building implemented energy efficiency initiatives including building automation system upgrades, premium efficiency motor installations, and upgraded lighting, plus water savings projects, and more. Together, these combined improvements helped Delaware achieve $244,000 in annual cost savings.
Randolph Community College, located in North Carolina, purchased an abandoned furniture warehouse next to campus and transformed it into a state-of-the-art energy-efficient learning laboratory for continuing education programs, and a curriculum and corporate training facility for the community. The new energy-efficient laboratory amassed 36% annual energy savings and an annual cost savings of $35,000.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) partnered with an energy service company to conduct an investment-grade audit of campus facilities that identified potential energy efficiency measures (EEMs), including lighting system improvements, air handling repairs, boiler replacements, and more. EEMs implemented at the University are expected to result in 42% annual energy savings.
The William M. Davies, Jr. Career and Technical High School underwent an energy efficiency upgrade to improve the lighting, ventilation, and building control systems. As a result, the school is expected to realize a building energy savings of 37% and an annual cost savings of $147,000.
Massachusetts achieved 42% energy savings as a result of upgrades to the high pressure heating system at the 28-building campus at the North Central Correctional Institute at Gardner which previously relied on #6 fuel oil for heat and hot water.
The City of Bemidji, MN, utilized a citywide Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) to upgrade eight of the city’s buildings plus the wastewater treatment plant and streetlights, saving 14% in energy use and $119,000 annually.
North Carolina was able to annually save $77,000 and reduce energy consumption by 12% by repairing and replacing various HVAC components at this NC State laboratory.
The State of Maryland renovated the Western Maryland Railway Station to address occupant comfort issues which resulted in a 21% annual energy savings and an annual cost savings of $12,100.

Solutions at a Glance

This flowchart walks users through questions corresponding to the considerations that go into deciding on the financing options available for state and city government ESPC projects.  The tool includes a mini-glossary with an explanation of each financing type included.
In the face of limited budget and staff, The State of Montana created a virtual technical assistant tool to help state and local practitioners of energy savings perforance contracting (ESPC). The tool includes step-by-step instructions for implementing ESPC, links to needed resources, and other guidance.
This tool helps municipalities determine if an LED conversion is feasible. It identifies the advantages (and/or disadvantages) of changing street light ownership structure by estimating the cost over time for purchasing a utility-owned street lighting system and converting it to LED energy-efficient lighting.


The Energy Data Accelerator Toolkit is a collection of resources enabling other utilities and communities to learn and benefit from the work of the Accelerator, specifically on how to gain data needed for benchmarking.
This toolkit provides guidance on understanding the numerous strategies for reducing plug and process load (PPL) energy consumption in your buildings, including how to select the right strategy for devices, building types, and occupant needs to maximize energy savings.
This toolkit offers FAQ's, decision guides, and contract templates to help commercial building owners evaluate installing solar PV, including guidance on mounting rooftop PV systems and financing projects.
The latest high-efficiency alternatives with energy-saving controls—including light-emitting diode (LED), induction, and fluorescent technology options—can save building owners over 40% on their parking lot lighting bills.
This toolkit provides resources for upgrading facility lighting to high-efficiency troffers, which can provide energy and cost savings from 15-45% on a one-for-one basis, and up to 75% with the use of controls.
This toolkit provides information and resources on traditional and specialized financing mechanisms to help overcome upfront costs and other financing barriers.
The Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities Accelerator (CELICA) Toolkits provides materials to help energy efficiency and renewable energy program administrators reduce energy burdens for low-income communities by enhancing and expanding upon work funded through utility, state, or federal programs. 
Within the framework of the Outdoor Lighting Accelerator, we worked to help state and local governments move closer toward a clean energy economy using high performance technologies that reduce the cost of an essential public service--street lighting.
The ESPC Toolkit is a collection of resources that will enable state and local communities to learn and benefit from the work of the ESPC Accelerator. It includes the best practices and innovative approaches that states, cities, and K-12 schools have used to successfully establish and implement performance contracting.
This toolkit helps water resource recovery facilities establish and implement energy management and planning by collecting best practices and innovative approaches used by wastewater facilities who partnered with DOE's Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) Accelerator.


This webinar highlighted how Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) is expanding to new sectors to impact building energy efficiency.
In this webinar, Better Buildings Challenge partners described their successful experiences with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing as program developers, city administrators, and property owners.
Getting approval for energy efficiency measures can sometimes be the most challenging aspect of the project. USAA, UC Irvine, and Kohl's shared their best practices for communicating the value of building energy efficiency projects and working with financial decision-makers to make those projects happen.
This webinar presented on the underlying barriers to energy data access. Learn about solutions underway across the country, including a successful collaboration in Philadelphia. The webinar also highlighted new resources to help you replicate this model in your community.
This webinar included a discussion by NREL on simple low-cost and portable plug and process loads interventions.
This webinar covered interior lighting with a focus on troffers and how new technology can significantly reduce energy use in higher education spaces.
This webinar described how the DOE helps move energy efficiency opportunities in buildings from ideas to mass-market uptake by identifying and developing high impact technologies.
Time, money, and expertise are often barriers to a robust energy management program. Better Buildings Challenge Partners Shorenstein and Allegheny College described solutions that helped them jump these hurdles to develop a culture of sustainability within their organizations—and a track record of successful energy efficiency projects.
This webinar session briefly reviewed some of the lessons learned by early adopters of outdoor connected lighting systems over the course of multiple pilot projects.
This webinar hosted Better Buildings Challenge partners United Technology Corporation, the City of Atlanta, and InterContinental Hotels Group on the innovative measures taken to improve water efficiency while reducing energy use.
Re-tuning is a low-cost process to identify and correct building operational problems that lead to energy waste. Better Buildings Challenge Partners who have employed retuning training covered how to improve building performance and opportunities to participate in trainings in your area.
Do you ever wonder how energy efficiency and sustainability efforts are impacting the value of your properties? This webinar focused on energy efficiency and sustainability in the appraisal and valuation industries.
This webinar explained how leading partners captured stories behind savings projects to promote future projects.
This webinar detailed ways and available tools to find funding for energy efficiency projects and how to avoid common pitfalls.
This webinar highlighted how to seek out technical experts and financing options for saving energy and water while protecting your interests.
This webinar covered Zero Energy Buildings across the public and commercial sectors, and highlighted DOEs new Zero Energy focused accelerators. Participants learned from experiences of those who built ZE buildings and received an overview of the growth of ZE buildings in the US.
Treating wastewater can be very energy intensive; learn how doing the job on-site can improve the efficiency of wastewater treatment collection systems and reduce costs.
Energy storage is a broad category of technologies with many different capabilities that can be daunting to sift through and find the best opportunities. Get an overview of energy storage technologies, use cases, business models, and how it can help you manage energy spend. 
This webinar highlighted tips on how to share facility-level data quickly and easily with DOE, and examples of how partners have leveraged this data sharing and review to make an impact in their organizations.
The Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Accelerator and the Outdoor Lighting Accelerator (OLA), concluded after three years of developing solutions to market barriers, identifying both innovative and proven approaches, and creating toolkits that offer a wide array of resources. This webinar highlighted key accomplishments, introduced resulting toolkits, and discussed the application of the toolkit to current projects. 
This webinar highlighted the National Laboratories and how your organization can work with them to enhance your energy efficiency.
This webinar explained why small data centers shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to energy efficiency, and how low-cost, high-win strategies can reduce energy demand.
This webinar featured state, local, and commercial sector partners sharing best practices on energy data management, and also introduced DOE's Energy Data Management Guide.

Additional Information

Sector Citations

Savings highlighted in the introductory blurb are from the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) 2016 CBECS Survey. Here is a link to the table that the savings figures were drawn from -

Sector Priorities

Meet the Sector Committee Chair