June Top 10 Solutions

The 10 most popular solutions on the Better Buildings Solution Center from the past month are below. These include information for K-12 schools on lighting options, energy financing, and high-efficiency RTU replacement, as well as the new Commercial Energy Financing Primer and more. Check them out!

1. K-12 Lighting Toolkit

For K-12 schools in the U.S., energy bills represent the second-highest operating expense behind salaries. By optimizing their lighting equipment and operations, K-12 schools can save up to 50% on energy use. This resource covers a wide range of K-12-specific technical implementation details, case studies, specifications, and other best practices for how to implement energy-efficient lighting in schools. Read more.

2. Efficiency-as-a-Service Toolkit

Efficiency-as-a-service (EaaS) is a pay-for-performance, off-balance sheet financing solution that allows customers to implement energy and water efficiency projects with no upfront capital expenditure. It is a relatively new financing mechanism, in which customers pay a provider for the service of energy savings. This new toolkit provides resources and case studies for building owners, operators, and occupants who may want to take advantage of EaaS for energy and water projects. Read more. 

3. Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Toolkit

This collection of resources enables state and local communities to benefit from the experience of partners who have successfully established and implemented performance contracting. It includes best practices and innovative approaches that states, cities, and K-12 schools have used. Users can easily find the information they need at each stage of their ESPC decision-making process. Read more.

4. High-Efficiency RTU Replacement Toolkit

This toolkit helps HVAC contractors and service companies work with their customers through a step-by-step process of evaluating and managing their inventory of rooftop units (RTUs) and how to evaluate the business case for high-efficiency replacements. From an incentives database to a comparison calculator, the toolkit provides everything needed to make an informed decision regarding RTU replacements. Read more.

5. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Access

A product of the Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator, this toolkit is a collection of resources to help building owners and communities overcome a lack of access to energy data for benchmarking. Resources highlight examples of effective partnerships between utilities, communities, and building owners that have helped improve access to whole-building energy data. Read more.

6. Commercial PACE Financing for Resiliency Toolkit

Commercial property assessed clean energy (CPACE) financing can be used to fund resiliency improvements that make buildings more resistant to natural disasters and other threats. CPACE policies and programs are becoming more widespread, making it easier for more customers to access CPACE financing. This toolkit provides the necessary information for building owners, operators, and occupants that may want to take advantage of CPACE financing to improve resiliency in their facilities. Read more.

7. Outdoor Lighting Decision Tree Tool

This decision tree provides an interactive and visual representation of scenarios and questions typically encountered in upgrading/replacing a public outdoor lighting system. The tool features successful cases and models used by cities and states to help find solutions to common barriers. Read more.

8. Commercial Energy Financing Primer - NEW

Part of the Better Buildings Financing Navigator, this primer includes a range of financing solutions for common barriers to energy financing in commercial buildings including hotels, retail, and commercial real estate. A range of financing solutions are available to companies of all sizes and structures looking to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Topics featured in this primer include CPACE, EaaS, ESPC, plus case studies and other financing considerations for commercial building owners. Read more.

9. How to Implement Green Revolving Funds

This collection of solutions provides guidance on establishing a green revolving fund to overcome a lack of dedicated capital. A green revolving fund is an internal capital pool dedicated to funding energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability projects that generate cost savings. A portion of those savings are then used to replenish the fund, establishing an ongoing funding vehicle to help drive energy efficiency and sustainability investment over time. Read more. 

10. REI Net Zero Energy Distribution Center

REI’s distribution center in Goodyear, Arizona was designed as a zero-energy facility. The company implemented renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water efficiency solutions including the installation of a 2.2 MW solar system and a non-evaporative cooling system. In 2018, REI's distribution center achieved an annual energy savings of 18% and annual cost savings of $170,000 from its baseline. Read more.