Better Buildings Webinars

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The DOE Better Buildings Alliance’s Plug and Process Loads (PPL) Technical Research Team is hosting its biannual call on March 6th at 1p ET. Experts from the California Plug Load Research Center (CalPlug), will provide insights on their PPL research focus areas that affect commercial building efficiency: plug load appliances and devices in use, consumer behavior studies, energy conservation in server rooms, and benchmarking energy efficiency prototypes and products. Further, attendees will get an update on the PPL Team’s upcoming research and other plug load industry updates as applicable. Ample time will be left for attendee discussion and commentary on the future of plug load efficiency in the commercial buildings industry.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Learn about the National Laboratories and how your organization can work with them to enhance your energy efficiency.

Industrial/Multifamily/Local Government/State Government
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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Join us on Thursday, January 11th from 4-5pm ET, for a sector-wide check-in call on Advanced Refrigeration, one of our key priorities for the Better Buildings Alliance retail, food service and grocery sector. This call will be jam-packed with refrigeration updates (see line-up below) that will be helpful across multiple sectors. Additionally, all participants will be encouraged to ask questions, and contribute their refrigeration challenges and successes. 

•Michael Deru of the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) will present on high-efficiency motors and controls for refrigeration condensers, describing new products, and how partners can get involved. 
•Tony Bouza of DOE will present on the latest technologies in the market, including: propane, compressors, what’s big in Europe, and the forthcoming IEA Annex. 
•Danielle Wright (BBA Affiliate) of the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) will share case studies of natural refrigeration projects that also reduced energy use, offer suggestions for specifying natural refrigerant systems to reduce energy costs, and provide an update on increasing propane charges as a means to greater efficiency in self-contained systems.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Over 1.3 billion square feet of commercial, industrial, and retail buildings achieve energy savings with energy-aligned leasing—the Better Buildings Alliance and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) are proud to announce new enhancements to the Green Lease Leaders program and to continue to push the envelope on sustainability and high performance in leased spaces. Watch this webinar to learn how Green Lease Leaders takes energy efficiency in buildings to new heights with new program features, a walkthrough of the application process, and advice on how to get started!

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Leading building owners and managers are using Energy Information Systems (EIS) to help move from data overwhelm to proactive management and cost savings. This webinar will include:

  • Top EIS metrics and analytics to include in your dashboard;
  • Resources for selecting and implementing EIS; and
  • Case studies from new EIS installations - Learn how our guest speakers from Carleton College and Aurora Public Schools have implemented their EIS to support their energy management goals.
Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Learn how you can achieve both energy and water savings in an industrial or commercial setting, and how one often follows the other.

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The City of Milwaukee is already leading by example by committing to reduce the energy used in city buildings by 20 percent by 2022, and the city has expanded its activities beyond municipal facilities with the Better Buildings Challenge of Milwaukee (BBC-MKE). This comprehensive energy efficiency program aims to assist local businesses and K-12 schools in every aspect of energy efficiency projects, including assessment, financing, and implementation, to help buildings reach their energy goal. To date, more than 86 non-city buildings are participating in BBC-MKE. To continue to grow the program and encourage energy efficiency across the city, Milwaukee developed a three-pronged business and community engagement strategy.

Milwaukee’s Business and Community Engagement Strategy

The City of Milwaukee’s three-pronged business and community engagement strategy includes incentives, education and outreach, and recognition to encourage local businesses and K-12 schools to join BBC-MKE and implement energy efficiency projects in their buildings.


To help building owners and operators identify energy-saving opportunities, the BBC-MKE program offers free energy assessments of Class B&C offices, small commercial space, and K-12 schools. These assessments are a modified Level 2 ASHRAE assessment, which identify no-and low-cost opportunities, potential capital-intensive energy savings opportunities, operational improvements, and some analysis of energy costs, energy use, potential energy and cost savings, and rough initial implementation costs. In addition, the BBC-MKE program offers benchmarking guidance, and partnered with the USGBC Wisconsin chapter to hold ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager technical support sessions. The city will also establish building profiles in Portfolio Manager for those that are eligible for building assessments.

In addition, BBC-MKE provides financial assistance through the City of Milwaukee's Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. Milwaukee’s PACE program funds energy improvements with private capital, which is paid back over time with the savings from energy improvements through a special municipal charge tied to the property tax system. BBC-MKE also partnered with Focus on Energy, Wisconsin utilities’ statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program, to provide incentives to businesses to reduce the implementation costs of energy projects. As part of the free energy assessments, participants are introduced to the incentives available based on specific assessment recommendations.

Education and Outreach

The City of Milwaukee teamed up with the Mitchell Street Business Improvement District (BID) and We Energies, a local utility, on an outreach campaign to engage small businesses in the Mitchell Street BID on energy efficiency.  The city provided business owners with free energy consultations for a week, utilizing a small business auditing report tool from We Energies, and determined businesses that were pre-qualified for small-business incentives utilizing a business list provided by the Mitchell Street BID. To get the word out, the city developed a mailer to advertise the free energy consultations and point business to the other BBC-MKE program’s resources. The City also held an informal information session in case businesses had questions and went door to door offering to do a walkthrough of businesses and connect them with resources to help them implement energy efficiency projects.  At the end of the outreach campaign, Milwaukee held a session for BID participants to answer questions about the energy consultation reports and provide training on benchmarking in ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager.

To reach a broader business audience, Milwaukee published an advertorial in the Milwaukee Business Journal. The six-page advertorial, "Making Buildings Better: What’s Being Done Locally to Reduce Energy Consumption,” featured a panel of local experts assembled to discuss energy efficiency in Milwaukee. The interview-style advertorial was moderated by the president of the commercial realtor association in Milwaukee and the panel consisted of an employee from the city, a financier of energy-efficiency projects, an executive from a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Milwaukee, and a local property manager. The advertorial highlighted resources available to business interested in pursuing energy efficiency, including the BBC-MKE program, and shed light on some of the panelists’ strategies and perspectives on energy-efficiency technologies and financing opportunities. 

The City of Milwaukee and the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) partnered to develop a clean technology resource page to help building owners, managers, and contractors find energy-efficient technologies, support local manufacturers, and stay informed on building retrofit practices. The resource page also links to Milwaukee's ECO Design Guidelines, which provide further insight into sustainable design practices for multi-family and commercial projects. To further educate local businesses on energy efficiency, the City of Milwaukee partnered with the M-WERC Construction & Engineering Working Group on a one-day conference on implementing energy efficiency in commercial buildings (November 2017). The event highlighted the BBC-MKE program and established a roadmap to implementing energy efficiency in commercial buildings, both new and renovated. The conference also discussed high-impact technologies that can help building owners save thousands of dollars annually on energy bills.

To bring broader community awareness to energy efficiency, the City of Milwaukee utilized a popular community event, Doors Open Milwaukee, to showcase buildings participating in the BBC-MKE program.  The BBC-MKE program sponsored the two-day event which included behind-the-scenes tours of more than 150 buildings throughout Milwaukee’s downtown and neighborhoods and in-depth tours led by community leaders. Milwaukee created window clings so building tour participants could easily identify the buildings in the BBC-MKE program and worked with Doors Open to create a feature on their website to allow interested attendees to filter for buildings participating in the BBC-MKE program.


To recognize participating buildings in the BBC-MKE program, the city hosted its first annual awards and celebration event, ReEnergize Milwaukee 2017. The event showcased the leaders that are helping re-energize and strengthen the greater community through the built environment and spur action in the City of Milwaukee and surrounding area to make buildings better. It also served as an opportunity for local businesses and building owners to network and share best practices in energy reduction. Mayor Tom Barrett and the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office presented awards in the following five categories:   

  1. Outstanding Energy Performance was awarded to the building with the most significant Source Energy Use Intensity reduction in 2016 compared to the building's baseline year
  2. Energy Efficiency Project of the Year was awarded to individual projects that displayed innovation and a high impact on energy use relative to investment, including use of available incentives
  3. ReEnergizer of the Year recognized exceptional facility managers, building engineers, and others that successfully lead their team in going above and beyond to manage building operational efficiency, seek out energy reduction projects, and implement tenant engagement strategies
  4. Occupant Engagement highlighted the building team that did the best job communicating their energy-efficiency goals and initiatives to their tenants or other occupants and engaged their occupants to implement initiatives within their individual leased spaces

There was also a People's Choice Award selected by attendees at the event from a group of candidates that had a physical display at the event and were highlighted leading up to the event via social media and through online profiles.  The People’s Choice Award focused on celebrating the community of participants that make up the City of Milwaukee's Better Buildings Challenge and attendees voted on the candidate they believed had done the most to embrace the Better Buildings Challenge. 

Local Government
Thursday, October 26, 2017

K-12 School sustainability conversations are growing beyond energy efficient buildings to include fuel-efficient school transit systems. School bus fleet conversions have been incorporated into K-12 school district sustainability plans to lower vehicle emissions as well as the operating and maintenance expenses for this essential service. When it comes to sustainability goals and creating healthy learning environments for students and faculty, the no-idling rules have been augmented by strategic actions that demonstrate a commitment to long-term, measureable budgetary and environmental impacts. Join the conversation to learn about alternative fuel school bus conversion and potential funding sources for school bus fleet conversions. We will have our experts on hand to highlight available programs and case studies from K-12 school districts around the nation. 

Topics to be covered:

  • Clean Cities Programs-School Case Studies
  • Alternative Fuels for School Buses
  • Funds for School Bus Fleet Conversion
  • Other Program Announcements


  • Crystal McDonald, Moderator, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Ellen Bourbon, Vehicle Technologies Office, Clean Cities Program, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Jonah Steinbuck, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Greg Kleen, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy

This webinar is open for K-12 School Districts and Associated Organizations to attend. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Smart Energy Analytics Campaign has released a new research report, summarizing key themes on the application of Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS) and Monitoring-based Commissioning (MBCx) practices. 

The high level findings in the report are drawn from the best practices implemented across the 46 portfolios (185 million sq ft) that have joined the Campaign in its first year. 

  • The preliminary savings and costs figures documented in this report show highly promising cost-effectiveness, with an average of less than 1-year simple payback.
  • The report also presents trends in the rapidly evolving industry of EMIS products and MBCx services.

We acknowledge and thank our participants and partners in the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign for providing data about their EMIS installations and MBCx practices.

Please join us for a webinar highlighting the Year 1 findings from the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign, along with success stories from those recognized by the Campaign for their exemplary EMIS efforts.


Friday, October 13, 2017

This webinar provides an introduction to the energy treasure hunt process and typical identified opportunities.

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Friday, October 06, 2017

This webinar discusses the steps any manufacturing facility can take to get started with water efficiency.

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