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July 26, 2016
Two Startups Win DOE Follow-On Funding to Develop Software for Building Efficiency

The Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) announced follow-on funding for the two Buildings topic winners of the Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize. The two startup companies, Kinetic Buildings and Livable Analytics, are developing cost-effective software solutions to diagnose faulty building operations and better understand building occupant satisfaction.

July 20, 2016
A “Cool” Way to Combat Climate Change under the Montreal Protocol

World climate leaders are meeting this week in Vienna for the next stage of international discussions about a global phase-down of climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

This meeting should lay the foundation for a 2016 amendment to the Montreal Protocol – a hugely successful global agreement that has put Earth’s fragile ozone layer on track to full restoration. A 2016 amendment would leverage the same proven mechanisms that helped fix the “ozone hole” to address another serious risk to the planet – HFCs.

July 19, 2016
PACE Adds Market Value for Home Energy Upgrades

New partnerships and resources announced by the Energy Department will bring the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy to more communities with more people able to affordably make clean energy investments due a special financing program.

July 19, 2016
Energy Department Releases Draft Updated Best Practices for Residential PACE Financing Programs

As part of the Obama Administration's Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released best practice guidelines for Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. PACE is an innovative mechanism for financing energy efficiency, solar, and related improvements.

July 15, 2016
Energy Department Invests $19 Million to Improve Efficiency of Nation’s Buildings

Projects Will Make Buildings Smarter, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Store Energy, Strengthen Insulation, and Harness the Sun for Lighting

July 12, 2016
Buildings Interoperability Framework
Laying the Foundation for a Future of Connected Buildings

A vision is emerging of a connected world in which building equipment and systems coordinate to efficiently meet owners’ and occupants’ needs, and where buildings regularly transact with other buildings in ways that benefit our entire energy system.

July 11, 2016
DOE Campaign Proves Commercial Lighting Upgrades Drive Savings

The Interior Lighting Campaign (Campaign) has seen tremendous success since its inception with over 160 leading organizations signing on as participants and supporters.

July 6, 2016
Transformation of the Built Environment by 2030

Architecture 2030 has been lauded by industry and collaborative colleagues alike for its development and implementation of key strategies to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as stimulating the creation of resilient communities that have the ability to adapt to the consequences of a shifting climate.

June 28, 2016
DOE Awards $3.7 Million to Spur Investment in Commercial Energy Code Compliance

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) has selected three projects to receive a total of $3.7 million to study the effects of improving the implementation of commercial building energy codes.

June 27, 2016
Energy Department’s Interior Lighting Campaign nets $13.5 million in energy savings in first year; Green Lease Leaders add 1 billion square feet of commercial building space

The Energy Department today announced the results of this year’s Better Buildings Alliance technology and market campaigns. Through partnerships with public and private sector organizations, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working with interested landlords, tenants, and owners to adopt solutions that best meet the needs of their buildings for sustainable leasing and upgrades to indoor lighting.

June 27, 2016
Emerging Technologies Leader Awarded for Supporting Small Businesses

Tony Bouza, HVAC, Water Heating, and Appliances Technology R&D Manager within DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), was recently recognized by the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) as a “Champion of Small Business.”

June 23, 2016
QCoefficient uses model predictive control (MPC) to pre-cool 13 of the 108 floors on Chicago’s Willis Tower. This figure shows cumulative energy use in 30 minute intervals between June 11 and September 28, 2012. QCoefficient’s optimized strategy replaced 1500 MWh of peak-time demand with 600 MWh of off-peak demand, saving approximately $250,000 and 900 tons of CO2 emissions in the process. Credit: QCoefficient.
QCoefficient Uses EnergyPlus to Reduce Willis Tower Energy Bills

Chicago firm QCoefficient uses model predictive control (MPC) to pre-cool large commercial buildings, savings hundreds of thousands of dollars and tons of CO2.

June 21, 2016
This chart plots the current primary energy consumption and potential energy savings for commercial end-use categories.  Energy savings estimates reflect energy efficiency improvements over today’s baseline products meeting minimum efficiency standards. Actual savings may be higher as today’s standards are higher efficiency than typical installed equipment. Credit: Navigant
Report Highlights Significant Energy Savings Potential for Commercial Appliances

Appliances used in commercial buildings for cooking, cleaning, water heating, and other end-uses account for nearly 22 percent of annual commercial building primary energy usage. According to a new report from DOE’s Building Technologies Office, energy-saving technologies available today could reduce commercial appliance consumption by 22 percent, with emerging technologies offering even bigger savings potential—36 percent.

June 21, 2016
Seeking Information on Advanced HVAC&R Technologies

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) released a request for information to seek feedback from the public on the technical metrics and goals, and organizational structure for a proposed advanced heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) research and development (R&D) effort.

June 20, 2016
At the Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), researchers are using two modular homes to test energy-efficient products and calculate their energy savings. Researchers test new technologies in the Experimental home (pictured above), while the Baseline home (not pictured) serves as a control and doesn’t get changed during any of the experiments. | Photo courtesy of PNNL.
Spurring Market Adoption of Energy Efficient Storm Windows

Since 2013, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been leading research and market transformation efforts for energy efficient storm windows, which they have identified as a key energy-saving measure for homeowners –- not to mention modern design appeal and environmental benefits.

June 17, 2016
Energy Department Launches Crowdsourcing Community to Bring More Innovators into the Mix

The Energy Department is piloting a new crowdsourcing community where any American citizen can submit their innovative ideas for improving building efficiency.

June 16, 2016
Is the Perfect Wall Realistic?

Wrong question. The right question is what can we do to help builders design and construct more perfect walls without losing their shirts? At Building America, we have an idea for a tool to do this.

June 15, 2016
All Stars of the Better Buildings Summit

This year’s Better Buildings Summit was filled with the announcement of several exceptional milestones and Partner achievements. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz lauded the initiative’s $1.3 billion in energy cost savings coupled with the avoidance of 10 million tons of harmful carbon emissions, as well as the Challenge Partners that facilitated the decrease in energy use through commitments to implementing energy-efficient technology and strategies within their respective portfolios.

June 14, 2016
Joan Glickman, Senior Adviser and Home Energy Score Program Manager at DOE's Building Technologies Office, speaks about the importance of energy efficiency standardization at High Performance Building Week on Capitol Hill.
DOE Makes Progress toward ANSI’s Energy Efficiency Standardization Roadmap Goals

On Monday, June 13, Building Technologies Office (BTO) Senior Advisor and Program Manager Joan Glickman highlighted DOE’s recent achievements in developing standardized tools and practices at the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition’s Congressional Briefing, one of several events taking place as part of High Performance Building Week 2016.

June 13, 2016
Groundbreaking Partnership with CoStar Adds Visibility to Energy Performance

On May 26, Better Buildings announced an historic partnership with The CoStar Group, one of the largest providers of information to real estate decision-makers in the country, to increase the visibility of energy performance data in CoStar’s online property database.

June 10, 2016
Energy Department Invests More than $10 Million in Efficient Lighting Research and Development

New projects designed to save consumers money and reduce energy consumption.

June 2, 2016
Energy Secretary Moniz Hosts Gathering of World’s Energy Ministers in San Francisco to Advance Technology Solutions, Accelerate Clean Energy Deployment

21 governments and European Union announce efforts to double clean energy R&D investments over five years to $30 billion per year.

June 1, 2016
Photo courtesy of Dow.
ORNL Collaborates with Industry on Award-Winning Building Envelope Technologies

LIQUIDARMOR, a sprayable liquid sealant developed by The Dow Chemical Company and evaluated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), recently won the 2016 Gold Edison Award for Building Construction & Lighting Innovations. The Edison Awards honor the best in innovation and excellence in the development of new products and services.

May 31, 2016
Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Energy Codes 101: What Are They and What is DOE’s Role?

I recently got back from Louisville, Kentucky, where I was representing DOE in the latest round of energy code development hearings. While the people who participate in the development process know energy codes inside and out, I know they are not as clear to the broader public. So let’s take a step back. Here’s a primer on what energy codes are, how they are developed, adopted, and enforced, and what DOE’s role is in these processes. Future blog posts in this series will zoom into specific topics.

First, here are a few key points:

May 31, 2016
Back row, left to right: Bartlomiej Walentynski (Tiffany & Co.), Joshua Yiangou (REI), Tanvi Umarje (Express), Brad Waters (Under Armour), Lisa Lieberbaum (PVH). Front row, left to right: Nitin Raviprasad (Best Buy), Lillian Mirviss (The Gap), Shuvya Arakali (American Eagle Outfitters), Linh Tran (Guitar Center).
DOE Participates in EDF Climate Corps Training

The Energy Department (DOE) was pleased to help Better Buildings Alliance affiliate Environmental Defense Fund prepare a new class of Climate Corps fellows during their training this past week in New York City.  EDF Climate Corps is an innovative summer fellowship program connecting public and private sector host organizations across the country and abroad with talented graduate students to support clean energy and energy efficiency projects. During the weeklong training, fellows are equipped with best practices and sustainability tools by a robust network of sustainability professionals.