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October 22, 2015
Energy Department Recognizes California’s Placer County for Leadership in Better Buildings Challenge

As part of the Obama Administration's efforts to cut energy waste in the nation's buildings, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today recognized Placer County for its leadership in improving energy efficiency across its 5-million-square-foot portfolio of county-owned buildings and schools by 20 percent in 10 years. Through the department's Better Buildings Challenge, the county's showcase project, the Granlibakken conference center and resort, is expecting a 43 percent reduction in energy use and savings of up to $44,000 each year.

October 15, 2015
The Energy Department is developing alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in supermarket refrigeration, air conditioners and more. | Photo by I-5 Design & Manufacture.
A Global Effort to Phase Down Hydrofluorocarbons

The Energy Department is part of the global effort to scale back the use of refrigerants thousands of times more potent than CO2.

October 15, 2015
At its core, BEDES is a universal dictionary for the language of data. BEDES provides a standardized set of common terms and definitions that different repositories of building energy performance data can align to.
BEDES: Creating A Common Data Language for Building Energy Performance

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) developed the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification, or BEDES, to overcome a key barrier preventing the exchange and integration of building performance information: the time and expense involved in sharing data.

October 13, 2015
Energy Department Recognizes General Mills for Leadership and Innovation at Iowa Plant

As part of the Obama Administration's effort to cut climate-changing carbon emissions produced by the nation's buildings and manufacturing plants, today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized General Mills, one of the world’s leading food companies, for its leadership in pursuing energy savings through innovative technologies as demonstrated in its Cedar Rapids, Iowa plant. Through the Energy Department's Better Plants Challenge, General Mills has committed to 20 percent energy savings over 10 years in 25 manufacturing plants across the country.

October 7, 2015
Energy Department Announces Winners of Housing Innovation Awards

The U.S. Department of Energy presented the 2015 Housing Innovation Awards to 24 industry leaders last night during the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance's Conference in Denver, Colorado. This distinguished recognition is being provided to 27 winning DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes, where the awards showcase the very best in business excellence required to deliver high-performance homes. 

The following industry professionals were presented with Housing Innovation Awards:

October 5, 2015
Figure 1: Energy Information Systems (EIS) comprise data acquisition meters, communication gateways, and performance monitoring software with visualization. EIS collect, analyze, and display building energy data, and enable site operational efficiency. (Source: LBNL)
Springboarding Building Energy Savings in India and the U.S.

The U.S.-India Center for Building Energy Research & Development (CBERD) R&D team is is developing technical requirements for scalable, cost-effective energy information systems (EIS) packages that would enable widespread building adoption.

October 1, 2015
Energy Department Unveils 3D-Printed Building; New Initiatives During Industry Day

The Energy Department announced several new and exciting innovations and programs during Industry Day held at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee Sept. 23-24. This included unveiling a 3-D printed building with integrated energy storage via bidirectional wireless power transfer to and from a vehicle, revealing the first-round winners of ORNL’s crowdsourcing competition to advance innovative building technology ideas, and announcing a new open innovation program between ORNL and four industry partners.

September 30, 2015
News
DOE Releases Updated Versions of EnergyPlus and OpenStudio

With the end of fiscal year 2015 approaching, DOE is releasing updates to its flagship building energy modeling software products, EnergyPlus and OpenStudio.

September 29, 2015
News
The World’s Largest 3D Printed House at EERE Industry Day

Complexity, customization and cost are three of the most prevalent barriers to technology integration in commercial buildings. But last week at EERE Industry Day we previewed promising solutions to these barriers. New advanced manufacturing offers access to smaller batches of new, innovative technologies, crowdsourced R&D connects stakeholder needs with new product development and EERE’s National Laboratory Impact Initiative helps identify pathways to connect smart people and difficult problems.

September 24, 2015
James White, Rod Stucker and James Rowland, winners of DOE's inaugural Buildings Crowdsourcing Community Campaign, joined GE Appliance’s Venkat Venkatakrishnan and DOE Assistant Secretary David Danielson for a panel discussion at EERE Industry Day at ORNL. Image: ORNL.
ORNL Crowdsourcing Site Advances Building Technologies Ideas to the Market

Editor’s note: This article was first published on the ORNL website.

September 24, 2015 – Winners of the inaugural Buildings Crowdsourcing Community Campaign were announced today at the Department of Energy’s Industry Day event at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

September 22, 2015
News
Colorado Kicks Off Home Energy Score Program to Benefit Home Buyers, Sellers

It’s becoming easier to demonstrate a home’s energy efficiency performance. This month, through its Better Buildings Colorado program, Colorado became the second state to offer the Home Energy Score statewide, which provides a home’s efficiency score and recommendations for efficiency improvements. Similar to a vehicle’s miles-per-gallon rating, the Home Energy Score is a free tool from the Energy Department that provides an energy efficiency score for a home and recommendations for energy efficiency improvements. The program is uniquely targeting real estate professionals to implement the benefits that Home Energy Score can bring to home buyers and home sellers.

September 22, 2015
OpenStudio View Data Reporting Measure
What Will Be This Year’s vA3C?

The AEC Technology Symposium and Hackathon brings together software developers that work in and around the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries to learn about the latest technologies and to use them to prototype new products in a 30-hour caffeine-fueled grand finale.

September 16, 2015
NREL Research Support Facility, photo credit: Bill Gillies, NREL
DOE Releases Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings, Campuses, and Communities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reached a significant milestone in bringing the building community together by releasing a common definition for a zero energy building, or what is also referred to as a “net zero energy” or “zero net energy” building.

September 15, 2015
DOE Announces Webinars on Deployment of Clean Energy on Indian Lands, the Distributed Wind Industry, and More

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. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.

September 15, 2015
Energy Department Announces $5 Million for Energy Planning and Innovative Energy Practices in 11 States

The Energy Department today announced $5 million in funding to 11 states to advance innovative approaches for local clean energy development that will reduce energy bills for American families and businesses, protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions, and increase our nation’s national energy security.

September 14, 2015
Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Manager Program Becomes First Credential Recognized under Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines

This week, the Department announced that the Association of Energy Engineers’ (AEE) Certified Energy Manager® is the first certification program to be recognized under the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines program.

September 11, 2015
Catalyst Business Innovation Finalists Announced

The second cycle of the Catalyst Prize Program is moving forward. The Business Innovation contest—designed to help teams form and explore software solutions to the most compelling problems facing building energy efficiency—is complete and finalists have been selected for the next competition phase, the Prototyping contest.

September 3, 2015
Unmet Hours is a question-and-answer resource for the building energy modeling community.
Happy Birthday Unmet Hours!

A year ago this week, a star was born. Working with IBPSA-USA, the US chapter of the International Building Performance Simulation Association, and Big Ladder Software, a Denver, CO startup, the Energy Department launched Unmet Hours, a peer-to-peer question-and-answer site for the building energy modeling community.

September 2, 2015
As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, Camas School District in Washington not only surpassed its energy efficiency goals, but did so five years early. | Photo courtesy of Camas School District.
Washington School District Makes the Grade in Energy Efficiency

Camas School District in Washington becomes the first school district to reach Better Buildings Challenge goals.

August 25, 2015
BPD's Explore Tool allows users to filter the BPD to create and save custom peer group datasets based on specific variables including building types, locations, sizes, ages, equipment, operational characteristics and more.
It's All About the Data: How the Building Performance Database is Informing Decisions on Energy Efficiency

Since its initial launch in the summer of 2013, the Building Performance Database (BPD) has grown to include over 800,000 records from existing residential and commercial buildings across the country—making it the largest database of its kind.

August 25, 2015
EnergyPlus and OpenStudio sites allow for easy user feedback through recently launched new portals.
EnergyPlus and OpenStudio Get New User Feedback Portals

DOE and NREL, with help from Big Ladder Software, recently launched user feedback portals for EnergyPlus and OpenStudio, ensuring that the development team focuses on features and improvements that users want and need.

August 24, 2015
Welcome to Uptake: The CBI Blog

Welcome to Uptake, a new blog featuring the latest information from the Energy Department's Commercial Buildings Integration (CBI) program.

August 12, 2015
Energy Department Recognizes Arizona’s Dysart Unified School District for Leadership in Better Buildings Challenge

School district commits to 20 percent energy savings over 10 years, spanning more than three million square feet of building space.

July 27, 2015
DOE Announces Webinars on the SunShot Catalyst Prize Program, Buildings of the Future, and More

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.

July 23, 2015
The Self-Help Office Building in Wilmington, N.C., reduced nearly $11,000 in annual energy costs and increased the building’s valuation up to $275,000 after a green retrofit.  Photo courtesy of the Institute for Market Transformation.
What’s Green Worth?

The effect on a property’s value is usually one of the first things to consider before a building is retrofitted with green features. However, appraisers are often not experienced in working with green buildings. When an appraiser is not versed in investigating the costs and benefits of green strategies, they might miss some of the benefits. To address this concern, the Energy Department and the Appraisal Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve resources for appraisers who are involved with energy efficient buildings.