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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.

May 26, 2016
Energy Department Announces Partnership with CoStar Group, Inc. to Expand Visibility of Energy-Efficient Buildings in U.S. Real Estate Marketplace

As part of the Obama Administration's effort to cut energy waste in the America's buildings, the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative today announced a partnership with CoStar Group, Inc., a provider of data and intelligence solutions to commercial real estate professionals, to expand the visibility of energy-efficient buildings in U.S. property markets and promote the benefits of energy efficiency for building owners and occupants.

May 24, 2016
Financing for energy efficiency was a major focus area of the 2016 Better Buildings Summit. Here’s a deep dive on one such Summit session: Underwriting Energy: Are Commercial Mortgages Ignoring Energy-Related Risks and Benefits, featuring panelists from Fannie Mae, Citi, and the University of California-Berkeley. Image: NREL.
Energy Efficiency as an Asset in Mortgage Underwriting

Securing funding for energy efficiency projects within the commercial sector is difficult due to the perceived risk by lending institutions. Architects and engineers have advanced energy-efficient technologies considerably over the past several years, which often mitigates any risk associated with these projects.

May 23, 2016
DOE Announces JUMP Initiative Winners, Launches New Crowdsourcing Calls at Bay Area Maker Faire

The Department of Energy’s Buildings Technologies Office announced the latest winners for its JUMP platform, an online crowdsourcing initiative aimed at advancing energy-efficient building technologies, during the 11th annual Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California.

May 23, 2016
Architecture firm HOK calculated the payback of energy modeling—cost of modeling divided by modeled energy cost savings—for a number of their projects. The results? Modeling usually pays for itself in a month or two. Credit: HOK.
The Shockingly Short Payback of Energy Modeling

Energy modeling is often used to evaluate ECM payback, calculating the operational energy savings that accrue after an initial capital investment. One ECM with a consistently short payback—on the order of a month or two—is energy modeling itself!

May 19, 2016
Image: NREL.
DOE Previews Smart Energy Analytics Campaign

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will launch its Smart Energy Analytics Campaign in October 2016, having previewed the campaign at the biannual Better Buildings Summit last week.

May 16, 2016
Energy Department Invests Nearly $2 Million in Small Business-Led Building Technology Projects

The Department of Energy recently announced nearly $2 million for 13 new building technology projects led by small businesses with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation.

May 16, 2016
Credit: Trane
Next-Generation Rooftop Unit Doubles Efficiency, Uses Lower-GWP Refrigerant

Trane Commercial Systems and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have attained 25% greater performance out of a baseline commercial rooftop air-conditioning unit (RTU) by improving the mechanical system design and switching to a lower-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant.

May 11, 2016
Better Buildings partners have saved more than $1.3 billion on energy costs. Our new infographic explains how Better Buildings works and why it’s important. | Graphic by <a href="/node/1332956">Carly Wilkins</a>, Energy Department
INFOGRAPHIC: Better Buildings Leading to Big Energy Savings

Better Buildings partners have saved more than $1.3 billion on energy costs. Our new infographic explains how Better Buildings works and why it’s important.

May 11, 2016
Better Buildings Challenge Partners Exceed $1.3 Billion in Energy Cost Savings, Share Hundreds of Solutions to Help Spur Future Efficiency Efforts

Better Buildings Challenge partners and energy efficiency commitments have tripled, resulting in energy cost savings that now exceed $1.3 billion.

May 10, 2016
Good Vibrations: No Heat Needed for Ultrasonic Dryers

With support from the Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and GE Appliances are changing the way Americans do laundry with their ultrasonic drying technology that uses vibrations, not heat, to dry fabric.

May 9, 2016
Energy Department Invests $14 Million to Increase Energy Efficiency of Nation’s Homes and Buildings

As part of the Administration’s effort to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings and double energy productivity by 2030, the Energy Department today announced $14 million to dramatically increase the efficiency of our nation’s homes and buildings. These projects will cut energy costs for thousands of American families and businesses, while leading to greater demand for new building products and technologies, many of which can be produced in the U.S.