Beat Blog

by Alison Berry, JDM Associates on Dec 19, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge partner Knoxville, TN., hosted David Friedman, the acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE, for a two-day visit in December that included a tour of the Public Works complex. Knoxville’s new Public Works complex is a $15 million, 45,...
by Amanda Chiu, SRA International Inc., A CSRA Company on Dec 15, 2016
For most American households, a 5-30% savings on energy bills is possible by making home energy upgrades typically identified in a home energy assessment. State and local governments, utilities, and nonprofits across the nation offer programs that allow home owners to upgrade their home to reduce...
by Jen Singer, ICF International on Dec 15, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge K-12 Schools partner Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS), located in northern Florida, has launched one of the country’s most innovative solar leasing programs. The feed-in tariff (FIT) program is a public-private partnership which allows private investors to lease...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Dec 14, 2016
In November, the National League of Cities (NLC) hosted the annual City Summit in Pittsburgh, Pa., their largest conference for bringing city leaders together to discuss challenges, trends, and strategies. Two Better Buildings Local Government Partners, the City of Chula Vista, Calif., and the...
by Holt Mountcastle and Joe Indvik, JDM Associates on Dec 14, 2016
Upfront costs are a major barrier to implementing energy efficiency projects. Despite demonstrated energy cost savings of at least 20-30% and the low risk nature of investments in energy efficiency, many efficiency projects do not receive the funding required for implementation. This is due, in...
by Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Team on Dec 12, 2016
The Better Buildings Summit is one of the premier forums for multifamily housing organizations to showcase proven strategies to cut energy used by the housing units comprising their buildings and facilities.  At the Summit, attendees engage with more than 900 industry experts including Better...
by Monica Kanojia, The Hannon Group, Better Buildings Iniative on Dec 08, 2016
Education serves as the foundation of a strong and resilient society. While educators and curriculums contribute greatly to the success of the student body, it has become progressively apparent that the built environment also has an impact on not just energy but also student performance. The power...
by Sapna Gheewala, U.S. Department of Energy, ORISE Fellow on Dec 07, 2016
With over 25 school districts signed up for the Better Buildings Challenge, covering 15,000 buildings and over 225 million square feet, our partners have taken on and overcome various barriers to advancing clean energy goals. K-12 School Districts across the country continue to face student...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 07, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out November's Top-10 solutions below.  1. SWAP Season 2: U.S. Naval Academy vs. U.S. Air Force Academy The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched season two of “Better Buildings Challenge SWAP,” featuring...
by Better Buildings Challenge multifamily team on Dec 05, 2016
In the November issue of Multifamily Executive, an article on how the Better Buildings Challenge assists property owners with using data to make energy efficient choices was revealed. In the article, Better Buildings Challenge partners receive assistance with utility benchmarking and utility data...
by John Jameson, ICF International on Dec 05, 2016
On October 25, the Department of Energy (DOE) visited the campus of Better Buildings Challenge partner University of California, Berkeley, to recognize the university for its leadership in energy efficiency and see their innovative efficiency projects in action. The University achieved 65 percent...
by Scotty Davids, Midshipman, U.S. Naval Academy on Dec 01, 2016
Saving energy and reducing our amount of waste is a habit that we as future junior officers need to develop. Students at the U.S. Naval Academy represent the future of the U.S. Navy, and we have the potential to introduce a culture of conservation and awareness within the organization. Through my...
by Christil Pasion, Cadet First Class, U.S. Air Force Academy on Nov 30, 2016
In the Air Force, energy is everything. As a civil engineering major at the Air Force Academy, I’ve come to learn how dependent we are on energy—we can’t do anything without it. That’s why participating in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge SWAP was such an important opportunity...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Nov 29, 2016
Could harnessing America’s binge-watching habits change the world? With the launch of Season 2 of the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP we hope to find out. Touching down tomorrow, this season features two natural rivals – the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy – as they swap energy teams...
by Andrew Held, ICF on Nov 23, 2016
Legrand North America (LNA), a Better Plants Challenge partner, is proud to announce the winners of the Best Performance in building class for the Energy Marathon 2.0. The company-wide, mega event concluded on October 28th, with the selection of winners in each of the three building class category...
by Monica Kanojia, The Hannon Group on Nov 23, 2016
Zero energy design and construction has become a key strategy in working towards energy independence and resilience for American cities. Building to zero energy specifications has emerged in recent years as a viable solution to meet the built environment needs of a growing global population, which...
by Andre de Fontaine on Nov 23, 2016
Today, more than ever, our economy runs on computing power. Even Black Friday is being supplanted by Cyber Monday. While the internet, mobile phones, and other connected devices make our lives easier in so many ways, there is a downside. Processing, storing, and distributing this electronic data...
by Joan Glickman on Nov 17, 2016
A primary concern when shopping for or comparing cars is knowing the fuel economy. What kind of performance can you expect to get out of your vehicle? How does it compare to other vehicles? What’s the monthly impact on your pocketbook? The same goes for homes because owners and renters want to...
by Monica Kanojia on Nov 02, 2016
A vital component of the development of an energy efficient, sustainable building stock is the availability of highly skilled professionals to assist in its development. As energy efficient technologies and strategies become more advanced it is imperative to have a workforce that is capable of...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 31, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out October's Top-10 solutions below.  1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Rois Langner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Marta Schantz, Waypoint Building, and Sormeh Konjkav, Waypoint Building on Oct 27, 2016
Garlic may keep vampires from sucking your blood, but what’s keeping vampires loads from sucking your energy? Plug and Process Loads (PPLs) account for 33% of U.S. commercial building energy use. A portion of that energy can be attributed to vampire or phantom loads: energy use from electric...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 25, 2016
Better Plants partners had a banner year, with two Challenge partners and eight program partners meeting their goals of reducing energy intensity by at least 25 percent within 10 years. Their leadership brings the total number of energy goal achievers, since the start of Better Plants, to 35. An...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 24, 2016
It’s time to get excited for the 2017 Better Buildings Summit, presented by the U.S. Department of Energy!  For the fourth consecutive year, over 900 Better Buildings partners and allies will come together at the Summit to explore and share innovative strategies, emerging trends, and high-impact...
by Sachin Nimbalkar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Oct 24, 2016
On October 3rd, Legrand North America, a Better Plants Challenge partner, kicked off the Energy Marathon 2.0, a company-wide internal competition designed to save as much energy as possible through employee engagement and ready-to-implement technologies. The Energy Marathon is a 26.2-day (about...
by Jordan Hibbs, U.S. Department of Energy on Oct 18, 2016
The 2016 LEEP Campaign Awards were announced on October 5 in Los Angeles, California at Greenbuild, the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Sixteen organizations were recognized in twenty-one award categories for new lighting installs and retrofits. There was much...
by Eli Levine and Bruce Lung, U.S. Department of Energy on Oct 18, 2016
Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of creators and inventors. Opening the doors to their facilities, companies can dispel notions of manufacturing being ‘dumb, dirty, dangerous, and disappearing’, and showcase how innovation and advanced...
by Toni Gallo, ICF International on Oct 04, 2016
Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), a Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partner, is a nonprofit developer, owner, and operator of nearly 9,000 affordable homes in nine states and the District of Columbia. The organization operates a diverse portfolio of multifamily housing, including...
by Monica Kanojia on Oct 04, 2016
Smart Cities Week emphasized the shift of the energy landscape in the U.S. towards cleaner energy sources, with thought leaders discussing energy independence, climate change, and community resilience with renewed vigor. Industry consensus is that ideation and innovation will be at the root of all...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 03, 2016
This November, every energy fanatics’ favorite show is back! That’s right Season 2 of the Better Buildings Challenge SWAP hits land and sea – as the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Airforce Academy take energy savings to each other’s campuses. This season’s participants include a colonel,...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 03, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out September's Top-10 solutions below.  1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Holly Carr, U.S. Department of Energy on Oct 03, 2016
In September, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps and the Better Buildings Initiative co-hosted a local peer networking event in New York City, bringing together Climate Corps host organizations and Better Buildings partners. Through a series of facilitated discussions, attendees...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 27, 2016
DID YOU KNOW that the first-ever National Energy Efficiency Day is next week and Better Buildings is helping lead the conversation? Here's our cheat sheet of what to expect and how your company or organization can participate next week. WHEN: October 5th, 2016. Join us on Twitter for a chat from 1...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 26, 2016
The Industrial sector racks up an annual energy bill of about $200 billion while running the backbone of the American economy and accounting for 30 percent of all U.S. energy consumption. But the power of American manufacturers is on full display during the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC...
by Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Team on Sep 26, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partners are looking ahead. With a few barriers knocked down for access to energy data, they now are turning attention to enhancing data delivery. Effective data delivery helps to guide future phases of research and development for new energy efficiency...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 19, 2016
The World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC), the largest energy conference and technology expo for business, industrial, and institutional energy users is almost here. Starting Wednesday and running through Friday, September 21 to 23, energy leaders are coming together in Washington D.C. to hear...
by Rois Langner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Marta Schantz, Waypoint on Sep 16, 2016
Reducing plug load energy use in a multi-tenant office can be a challenge. Balancing tenant engagement with technology installation and everything in between takes careful planning, execution, and good communication – and the benefits of these efforts have not been well documented. To better...
by Alice Dasek, U.S. Department of Energy on Sep 15, 2016
Many public institutions hope to find the upfront funds to retrofit buildings knowing that the investments will reap savings for their organizations. But the truth is, it’s not always easy to get the money and ensure the savings all at the same time (which as energy professionals know, is what is...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Sep 13, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out August's Top-10 solutions below.  1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Brittany Ryan, JDM Associates on Sep 06, 2016
As social media expands its many channels – LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype – so do the innovative tactics institutions use to reach their communities. Arlington County, Va., pursued a non-traditional way of engaging both residents and the public sector at large. The latest addition to the Arlington...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 31, 2016
Restaurants are compact spaces that are outfitted to bring food and people together. And when the approach to making food and hosting people leans toward energy efficiency, then you've got the Wendy's/Wendco Mobile, Alabama restaurant with savings of 37 percent or 50 percent per transaction. Get a...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 31, 2016
It’s easy to justify making water conservation a priority when just reducing water use by 20 percent can net almost $50,000 in savings in some markets. Even outside a drought-affected region, it’s smart to save water. The benefits of water savings are economic and environmental, and partners in...
by Monica Kanojia on Aug 30, 2016
Contrary to popular belief, actualizing energy savings isn’t as simple as solely installing energy efficient equipment, it requires a holistic approach. Shari’s Café decided to tackle energy consumption head on when the company realized that in order to maximize the full savings potential of the...
by Jason Hartke, U.S. Department of Energy on Aug 24, 2016
University campuses are a treasure trove of energy efficiency opportunities, as their facilities teams will tell you. The challenge is not in identifying opportunities for savings, but in finding the time to pursue them among competing demands for facility teams’ time. Keeping systems running to...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 16, 2016
Back with a bang, the Better Buildings Webinar Series is officially happening again. We'll be taking on the most pressing topics facing energy professionals, with new experts leading the conversations on proven best practices, cost-effective strategies, and innovative new ways to approach...
by Joan Glickman, U.S. Department of Energy on Aug 16, 2016
We’re proud to unveil the new Home Energy Score report and website – as well as a wealth of new materials designed to meet the needs of our partners, stakeholders, and homeowners across the country. Based on feedback from partners as well as lessons drawn from studies, the new site and...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 11, 2016
Charter Steel's Saukville plant is home to its corporate offices as well as a fully integrated mill that includes a melt shop, state-of-the-art rolling mill and a processing facility. The Wisconsin plant recently decided to carry out a mini energy blitz (modelled after treasure hunts) to uncover...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 01, 2016
Sometimes all it takes is a good story, or in this case a great pitch to turn an organization into a committed energy savings machine. This year at the Better Buildings Summit we asked our goal achievers to let us in our their secrets: be it technology, the people behind the strategies, or unique...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 01, 2016
Each month we recap the most viewed solutions shared by Better Buildings partners. Check out July's Top-10 solutions below.  1. Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit The  Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator was a two-year partnership with cities and utilities to improve energy...
by Better Buildings Beat Team on Aug 01, 2016
It's not always expected that a renewable energy system can take a building from zero to sub-zero in a single year. But that's exactly what happened when Suncoast Credit Union decided to build its Bushnell Service Center, a unique zero-energy building that integrates renewable energy with high...
by Sapna Gheewala, U.S. Department of Energy, ORISE Fellow on Jul 25, 2016
Camas School District implemented a centralized natural resource policy to promote the value of sustainability, prioritize reduction goals, and establish a framework for school staff to measure building energy efficiency improvements. The Camas School District united school officials, faculty,...

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