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November 30, 2016
Navy Vs. Air Force – the latest Better Buildings SWAP highlights federal leadership

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today launched season two of “Better Buildings Challenge SWAP,” featuring the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy. Both military operations swap energy teams to improve the energy efficiency of each one’s campus. Watch the episodes.

November 28, 2016
A technician installs central air conditioning equipment. Image courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Energy Department Hosts Workshop to Advance Residential HVAC Installation Best Practices

Over the past 25 years, substantial gains have been achieved in the energy efficiency of residential central air conditioners and heat pumps. Federal energy policies, like minimum equipment standards and tax credits for efficient products, have had a substantial impact on improving the efficiency of residential central air conditioners (CACs) and heat pumps (HPs), producing energy cost savings for consumers.

November 22, 2016
Participant discussion at JUMPathon. Courtesy of the JUMP team.
BTO Innovation Crowdsourcing JUMP Program Celebrates a Year of Successes

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) JUMP program experienced a successful year of engagement and innovation in 2016, adding 12 industry partners, launching 13 calls for innovations, and advancing 10 winning ideas. The JUMP user community also grew, with more than 1,300 registered users discussing and voting on 170 technically valid ideas.

November 21, 2016
Helping Businesses Achieve Energy Savings in Tenant Spaces

The returns on investment jump off the page like a 3D movie, ranging from 42% to a whopping 410%. They are the energy saving results from 10 pilot tenant space projects that are now serving as the basis for the recent launch of Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) new tenant energy efficiency focused effort.

November 18, 2016
Residential PACE Financing
Updated Guidelines for Residential PACE Financing Programs

The Energy Department has updated Best Practice Guidelines for Residential PACE Financing Programs, which allow qualifying homeowners in states offering PACE financing to make energy upgrades with no upfront costs and repay the costs over time through a special property tax bill assessment.

November 18, 2016
Health and Well-Being in the Built Environment

This year’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo saw continuation of the “health and well-being” theme as related to the built environment and its impact on occupant health and productivity.

November 17, 2016
MPG-Type Rating for Homes Accelerating Energy Savings for Homeowners—Over 50,000 Homes Scored

The Home Energy Score, which evaluates energy in a home similar to miles per gallon reports fuel efficiency in vehicles, has now issued more than 50,000 scores nationwide as part of the Energy Department's continued efforts to help Americans save energy and money.

November 17, 2016
A New Era for Energy Efficiency M&V

We know that measuring and verifying energy savings, affectionately known as M&V, is important. But, when you consider that 1-5% of total project costs go to this effort and that $7 billion is spent a year on utility demand side management programs, we see the enormous value of improving our approach to M&V, which could save hundreds of millions of dollars and unleash the potential of smart meters, smart devices and advanced analytical tools.

November 17, 2016
DOE Announces Webinars on Current Practices in Efficiency Financing and Accessing Incentives

EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce.  Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required.

Upcoming Webinars

November 17:  Live Webinar on Current Practices in Efficiency Financing

Webinar Sponsor:  Weatherization and Intergovernmental Affairs

November 16, 2016
Energy Department Announces Partnerships Under New Better Buildings Zero Energy Districts Accelerator to Develop More Sustainable Communities

As a part of the Obama Administration's effort to cut energy waste in the nation's buildings and facilities, today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National League of Cities launched the Better Buildings Zero Energy Districts Accelerator to move the building market toward adopting sustainable practices to help districts achieve zero energy use in buildings.

November 14, 2016
Building Energy Code Compliance

After previously discussing what building codes are, how they are developed, and how they are adopted, we now explore the final, and perhaps most important, stage of the building energy code cycle: compliance. Compliance is where “the rubber meets the road” for energy codes. Without it, no energy is saved, and all the work done during the development and adoption phases is for naught.

November 10, 2016
Building Technologies Recognized in Innovation Awards

Last week, four buildings projects supported by BTO or BTO key staff won R&D 100 Awards in recognition of their significant advances in science and technology at the annual R&D 100 Conference. The awards, known as the “Oscars of Invention,” honor innovative breakthroughs in materials science, biomedicine, consumer products and more from academia, industry and government-sponsored research agencies.

October 28, 2016
A Fresh New Look for Home Performance with ENERGY STAR

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR has updated and enhanced its tools and resources to better guide homeowners down a pathway to improved comfort and utility bill savings.

October 27, 2016
Myth-Busting Barriers Associated with Plug Load Controls

Plug and process loads (PPLs) consume about one-third of primary energy in U.S. commercial buildings. PPL efficiency solutions have become relevant in achieving energy cost savings and improvement in building performance; however, their broad implementation has been stunted by a number of myths.

October 27, 2016
Building-integrated heat and moisture exchanger, the AirFlow<sup>TM</sup> Panel, installed for evaluation at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Image courtesy of Architectural Applications.
Small Businesses, Big Opportunities: Advancing Building Energy Efficiency through Public-Private Collaboration

Small businesses are a vital part of America’s growing economy, but they face many challenges bringing their innovative ideas and products to market. When pursuing innovation, many small businesses cannot secure sufficient funding to support research and development (R&D) of new technologies and services.

October 26, 2016
Who’s Who: The Emerging Technologies Fellows

Fellows in the Emerging Technologies (ET) program of the Building Technologies Office (BTO) are the Energy Department’s next generation of engineers and scientists, tasked with bringing fresh ideas and new perspectives to the program’s building energy efficiency research and development portfolio.

October 25, 2016
Energy Department Recognizes University of California, Berkeley For Leadership in Campus-Wide Energy Innovations

As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to cut energy waste in the nation’s university buildings and facilities, today the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Challenge program recognized University of California, Berkeley for its leadership in energy efficiency. The University achieved 65 percent energy savings at its Jacobs Hall facility, the College of Engineering’s interdisciplinary hub where students and teachers from across the university work at the intersection of design and technology.

October 24, 2016
BEDES Adoption Continues to Grow and New Version Released

In order to consistently exchange information on building characteristics and energy use data between tools and databases, several organizations have signed up to use the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES) in their software applications, totaling 16 BEDES-compliant products since inception.

October 20, 2016
Source: Pacific Northwest National Lab.
New International Agreement to Phase Out Climate-Harming Refrigerants Offers Opportunity for Innovation

Buildings in the U.S. consume 38.5 quads of energy annually, of which nearly half is used for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R). Traditional HVAC&R systems rely on a process called vapor compression to cool and heat our buildings, using a compressor to circulate liquid refrigerants, typically hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). HFCs are hundreds to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide and can last for centuries when released into the atmosphere.

October 11, 2016
CBERD’s lifecycle assurance framework for the design, building, and operation of smart, high-performance buildings. Image courtesy of the CBERD team.
The Eagle and the Tiger: CBERD, a U.S.-India Partnership in Building Energy Efficiency Advancing Innovation

The United States and India have a long and successful strategic partnership in the energy sector. In November 2009, the United States and India launched the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), which is working to accelerate inclusive, low carbon growth by supporting research and deployment of clean energy technologies. Under PACE-R (research), the U.S. and India support research in solar energy, building energy efficiency, advanced biofuels, smart grid, and energy storage.

October 5, 2016
Autodesk Insight360 allows architects to explore the energy impacts of different design choices as they design. Insight360 uses EnergyPlus to calculate heating and cooling loads and now provides the option of using EnergyPlus to evaluate annual energy impacts. Credit: Autodesk.
Autodesk Upgrades Insight360 with EnergyPlus Annual Energy Simulations

At GreenBuild, Autodesk unveils an upgrade to its Insight360 suite of tools that will allow architects to run annual EnergyPlus simulations from within its popular Revit and FormIt design tools.

October 4, 2016
Better Buildings Launches Smart Energy Analytics Campaign to Help Commercial Buildings Achieve Greater Energy Efficiency

As part of Smart Cities Week, the White House recently announced a new Energy Department-led Smart Energy Analytics Campaign to encourage the use of cost-effective, energy-saving building analytics platforms – also known as energy management information systems technologies (EMIS) – in commercial buildings nationwide, and refine best practices.

October 3, 2016
The cost of LED A-type light bulbs has decreased by 94% since 2008, according to the 2016 <em>Revolution...Now</em> report.
Revolution...Now Rewind: 6 Questions with a Lighting Expert

Lighting Program Manager for EERE’s Building Technology Office, Jim Brodrick, sat down to discuss the 2016 Revolution…Now report that was released last week.

October 3, 2016
Spark is a free online tool that performs technical and financial analysis for building renewal projects, upgrade projects for leased commercial office buildings that target at least 35% annual energy savings. Credit: BetterBricks.
BetterBricks Leverages DOE Tools to Spark Deep Energy Retrofits

NEEA (Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance) is using EnergyPlus and OpenStudio to help drive building renewal, a real estate strategy that targets deep energy savings in leased office buildings.

September 28, 2016
Energy Department Announces 34 Winners of the 2016 Housing Innovation Awards

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today recognized 34 of the nation's leading builders at the 2016 Housing Innovation Awards during the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance's Excellence in Building Conference in Dallas, Texas.